Thursday, July 26, 2012

Maraschino Cherries

Here's the thing about these homemade maraschino can feel good about them because they're not neon red (and therefore, not full of whatever unholy chemicals usually make them neon red). And they taste great (adding a little booze never hurts). But they do lose something in the looks department. For starters, I couldn't figure out how to pit them without taking the stems off. Then they got kind of dull and wrinkly after I cooked them. So they're not very sexy poised on top of an ice cream sundae. It was then I realized maybe I shouldn't have bothered making them because honestly, the only reason anyone reaches for a maraschino cherry is to garnish their cocktail and/or sundae (ooh, cocktails and sundaes - now that's a party). But the good news is that these should last a while since their sort of pickled in their cherry liqueur, so I have a little time to figure out what the hell to do with them. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: check out the buttermilk cherry ice cream with cherry sauce I made using these cherries.


1 1/4 cups 100% pomegranate juice (I recommend Pom Wonderful brand)
1/4 cup brandy (or another 1/4 cup pomegranate juice)
1 cup sugar
3 ½ oz. fresh lemon juice (from approx. 3 lemons)
pinch of salt
3 whole pieces star anise
8 whole cloves
1 lb. sweet cherries, pitted
1 teaspoon almond extract

1.      In a nonreactive saucepan, add juice, brandy, sugar, lemon juice, salt, cloves and star anise. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture until the sugar has dissolved.
2.      Add the cherries and almond extract. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes or until the cherries have exuded some of their juice and the syrup has taken on a distinctly cherry flavor. Be careful not to overcook. The point is not to actually cook the cherries, but to heat them in the syrup just long enough to bring out their essence.
3.      Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the cherries and the syrup to a bowl a container with a tight-fitting lid, cover tightly, and refrigerate. The longer the cherries steep, the more flavorful they will become.

slightly adapted from
pitted cherries

I used my awesome Oxo Good Grips cherry pitter.
star anise and cloves
pomegranate juice, brandy, lemon juice
and spices coming to a simmer
adding the cherries
cherries and almond extract added
simmered for 10 minutes
maraschino cherries in a jar

I'll bet the cherry liqueur makes a very refreshing
drink mixed with some seltzer. Or a nice cherry
lemonade (obviously when mixed with lemonade).
maraschino cherry on a mini ice cream sundae

See what I mean? No va va voom.


Elizabeth (Foodie, Formerly Fat) said...

It doesn't matter how the cherries look when they are bouncing around in the bottom of a Manhattan glass... or maybe a whiskey sour. Adam got a jar of fancy cherries last year and he swears by them.

Susan said...

I need to branch out and try some new cocktails!

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