Life is just a bowl of cherries. That’s a phrase from a popular song in the 1930’s. The message of the song is basically about how life is good and we should go out and enjoy it. Busy days seem to get busier at a crazy rate. It is difficult to push aside the to-do list and have some fun. I’m guilty of it for sure. These days I relish moments away from the laptop as I concentrate on simple pleasures such as making cherries in syrup. The process itself is therapeutic and my mind can settle while concentrating on the task at hand.
Cherry stains are inevitable. Well, at least they are for me. No matter how hard I try there is no way I can keep from staining my clothes. This time I wore an apron when I was pitting, cupped my hand around the pitter to reduce splatter, and did the pitting in a deep bowl. Did that help? Nope. I looked down after I was finished only to find red splotches on my shirt. Reminder to self: keep the apron on until all done and cleaned up.
This is a great way to preserve the short cherry season. The cooked cherries last for about a month in the refrigerator. Canning would extend it much longer. However, I’ve never canned anything so it is either chilling or freezing for me. I have not tested freezing them yet so I do not know how they would be once defrosted. The cherries make a wonderful topping and I see many possibilities of using them in both sweet and savory recipes.
Making cherries in syrup is an easy process. All you have to do is pit the cherries and simmer them with sugar, water, lemon peel, and vanilla bean. This recipe is for sweet cherries. It can be easily doubled if you want a larger batch.
Do you enjoy cherries? Be sure to check out these recipes: Chocolate Kirsch Cupcakes, Cherry Pecan Bundt Cake, and Chocolate Covered Cherry Cheesecake. There will be more recipes coming soon. Stay tuned!
- 1 pound sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 3 ounces water
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
- 1 strip of lemon peel (about ½- X 1½-inches)
- Put all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Lower heat to medium and cook for 25 minutes, until cherries are softened and syrup is thickened.
- Remove from heat and cool completely. Discard vanilla beans and lemon peel.
- Transfer cherries and syrup to glass jar or container. Seal and chill. Use within 1 month.
Recipe adapted from Cherries in Heavy Syrup on Bon Appétit.