I’m a cherry fiend. I love them in pie, whole, in pie, juiced, in pie, with ice cream, in pie (with ice cream) and more. I also like to find different ways to use them and this is one of the more unique recipes for cherries that I know; a quick pickle.
They don’t take long to make (the longest part is the pitting) and will last weeks (or more) in your fridge – but you’ll likely use them before that!
Pickled cherries add a savory element to their natural sweetness. They are eaten as-is or used as an unlikely salsa to bring a bright flavor to a savory dish (we added them to pork belly and lettuce wraps on the weekend). They are fantastic with pork (especially salty pork) but would also work with fish tacos or as an accompaniment to deep-fried tofu (or you could roast, grill or pan-fry it).
The hot pepper is optional here; it doesn’t add a lot of heat and the flavor will be subtle. I’m a bit fan of adding it, especially if using one of the two types listed as they both add a smoky flavor that compliments the cherries perfectly.
You can also omit the pits from the recipe if you’d like. Cherry pits can contain trace elements of cyanide. They also add a great almond flavor. The use of them is up-to-you; we eat thee so rarely that I feel comfortable adding them though you may not.
UNIQUE RECIPES FOR CHERRIES – QUICK PICKLE INGREDIENTS
- As many cherries as you’d like. We used 4 cups so they would fit in a mason jar. You can use sweet or sour (we used sweet for this).
- 1 cups mirin (brown rice wine vinegar)
- 2 cups water
- 2/3 cup sugar
- Optional: 1 whole dried hot pepper (chipotle or morita are great as they both have a smoky flavor)
- Small piece of cheesecloth.
- 1 clean mason jar (1 quart/ 1 liter)
UNIQUE RECIPES FOR CHERRIES – QUICK PICKLE INSTRUCTIONS
- Wash and pit the olives (saving the pits in a bowl).
- Tie pits into the cheesecloth so they can’t escape.
- Using a tenderizer or mallet, crack the pits by smacking them a few times (depending on how juicy they are this can be messy; you may want to cover with a towel or small piece of parchment). Check to make sure the cheesecloth is still in tact.
- Place vinegar, sugar, water, the hot pepper and the pit sack in a pot. Bring to a near simmer.
- Wash the jar well as the brine heats up.
- Discard the pit sack.
- Drop the hot pepper into the mason jar (this keeps it out-of-the-way). Pack with the cherries.
- Pour the near-boiling bring over the cherries.
- Allow to cool until jar is comfortable to touch.
- You can eat right away put flavor will improve in next 2-4 days.
The brine can be reused by bringing it back to a boil (though you will have progressively less brine each time you use it).