This simple recipe for Balsamic Cherries is because cherries are at their peak right now. Where I live, in the Okanagan Valley of BC, Canada we are all about the tree fruit, all summer long. We don't have a cherry tree anymore, but many neighbours do, and are willing to share as long as we pick, so we did.
We love to eat fresh local cherries just as they are. But I really wanted to come up with a savoury way to use some of these beauties. While they are still in season. These balsamic cherries take just a couple of minutes to put together, once you have pitted all the cherries.
Handy Tool: A Cherry Pitter
Living where I do, I own a cherry pitter, which makes this tedious chore a breeze. You can use one of those little handheld pitters, which can still be tedious, but if you live where you have access to a lot of cherries, it's worthwhile to invest in a tabletop one. They are pretty inexpensive, and I thank myself for buying one every time I use it. It really does make short work of pitting cherries, and leaves you with whole, pitted cherries. (And unstained nails)
How To Enjoy Balsamic Cherries
Balsamic cherries are amazing on baked brie, with goat cheese on crackers, or, pop one or two into a cocktail, or a topping for grilled salmon, chicken or pork. I'm thinking they will be lovely on vanilla ice cream or panna cotta, and I'm using it on this Pizza, with Balsamic Cherry, Prosciutto and Feta.
And then...once all the cherries are gone, you will have a fantastic cherry balsamic vinegar to be used in a salad dressing or marinade, right? All of which makes this recipe so versatile, in spite of its simplicity.
I didn't add any sugar to this recipe, because the cherries were really sweet. I also didn't process my jars, but you can if you want a bigger batch to have in the cupboard. (These would be so good in the winter over the holidays for all kinds of appetizers, and for gift-giving, too).
These will keep in the fridge for at least a few weeks. Makes two 1 pint (16 oz) jars
- 2 pounds fresh ripe cherries pits and stems removed
- 2 cups good quality balsamic vinegar
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 12 black peppercorns
- Divide cherries between two 1 pint clean, dry canning jars.
- To each jar, add a sprig of thyme and 6 peppercorns.
- Put balsamic vinegar into a saucepan over medium-high until boiling.
- Remove from heat and divide the hot vinegar between the two jars of cherries. The vinegar should cover the cherries, but if not, add some more vinegar to the pot and simmer until you have enough. Seal jars, allow to cool and then refrigerate for 2-3 days before using.