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Jun 10, 2012 10:20 PM

Canning "Maraschino" cherries?

Every year I make cocktail cherries, a riff on Maraschino cherries with star anise and pomegranate juice from Gramercy Tavern. Every year we run out too soon and this year I'd live to preserve this item. Is there any reason I can't can these in 1 pint jars?

The ratio of key ingredients is 1.75 c liquid:1 cup sugar: 1 lb cherries:3 T lemon juice.

Thank you!

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  1. The Ball recipe for Brandied cherries calls for 10 minutes in a BWB for pint jars. The Ball recipe uses 6 lbs cherries, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 1 1/4 cup brandy. (I use a mix of brandy and Luxardo.) 6 pounds yields 6 pints.

    Cherries are high acid enough on their own that your recipe sounds safe to me. Ball's got a recipe for plain cherries hot packed in water that are processed in pints, so I would imagine a little liquor sub would only help with the preservation.

    1. Yes, should be fine. But do you actually bring them up to 220 degrees? Do you think the texture would degrade with that much heat and then a boiling-water bath?

      3 Replies
      1. re: heidipie

        I follow the recipe instructions (except for the liquor sub) exactly and get delicious little whole cherries without any texture issues. I mean, they are clearly cherries that have been processed, but they are not falling apart or torn up.

        Hands down the best thing I can. I can them in half pints and have to stop my husband from dumping a whole jar onto a single bowl of vanilla ice cream.

        1. re: heidipie

          I think your question goes to: will the Ball recipe replicate the crunchy, waxy texture of commercial Maraschino cherries? No, it won't, but I think that may be a GOOD thing. They have always had a very artifical texture--not cherry-like at all--to my tastes.

          If you can tweak the flavorings to your liking, I think the texture you will get will be solid enough, not mushy, and you will be pleased.

          Hurry, though, cherry season will not last much longer.

          1. re: toodie jane

            Oh, this is a cocktail cherry recipe inspired by Maraschinos, not in any way an effort to duplicate the frightening bright red variety.

        2. I think the texture is much better in the fridge but it requires booze to stay there. The texture is much, much better especially if you leave the pits in. The texture is also better if you use sour cherries.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JudiAU

            +1 on leaving the pits in on having cherry texture stay much better on canning. sour cherries with lot's of boozyness can be canned; you will lose any 'crunch' in your cherries, but the taste will be great, and you will finally have room back in the fridge.

            I reccomend a sprig of rosemary, or lemon thyme, or fennel fronds in some jars as an addition to up the ante for modern cocktail cherries.

            One of my best canned items is pickled bourbon cherries with rosemary. They make a mean old-fashioned...

          2. I can my cherries with sugar and almond extract. I can get dizzy off that wonderful aroma! Over ice cream....delicious!

            1. What variety of cherries do you use?