Don’t you just love cherries? I do. Their bright red colour, their taste, their texture and the fact that they are just the perfect size for popping in your mouth make them irresistible.
Not only are they versatile in cooking they have numerous health benefits too. Being a rich source of antioxidants, they can help with diabetes, sleep disorders even weight loss. And if that isn’t enough their stones have the ability to hold heat making them a great filling for heat pillows.
These pickled cherries will keep for up to 6 months. They make tasty nibbles for cocktails, a colourful addition to a cold buffet and can be turned in to a quick and impressive salad, simply by tossing a few with some tasty greens such as rocket or watercress and using a little of their liquid as a ready made dressing.
SWEET PICKLED CHERRIES
Makes 3 x 450 g jars
475 ml water
600 ml white wine vinegar
475 g sugar
6 bay leaves
9 peppercorns per jar
1.3 kg sweet cherries, washed and stems trimmed
Put the water, vinegar and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over a gentle heat.
Divide the bay leaves and peppercorns between sterilised jars then pack in the cherries as tightly as you can without squashing them.
Pour the vinegar mixture over the cherries, leaving 1.25 cm of head space. To remove any air bubbles gently tap the jars on a towel-lined counter top so that the bubbles rise to the surface.
Seal the jars and store until needed.