Deep, dark luscious cherries. Tart, sweet, rich with balsamic vinegar. Really, do I need to say much more? These are the first cherries of the season on the East Coast. And they got the sexy, royally delicious treatment.
So good it makes you want to lick you jam pot clean. It’s your favorite pot in the kitchen, a mass merchandiser’s
knock off version of a most wonderful brand. And this stone fruit might be your absolute favorite fruit in the world. So why not give it a lick? Or at least a good scrape.
This recipe is a perfectly tiny small batch. One quart of ripe, plummy cherries, a bit of sugar, a healthy glug of balsamic vinegar, a sitcom’s worth of cooking time and a baby processing time [or take it straight to the fridge]. It yielded me one 8 oz jar and another 2 oz or so. It won’t go to waste, surely not.
The chunky cherry pieces slide about in a glistening syrup. The syrup may dribble down your chin as you attack a liberally buttered and preserved piece of bread. You probably won’t care. You’ll be swooning over the bite of the balsamic vinegar hitting the cherry sweetness. Paired with the butter and a very lovely bourbon-pecan-currant whole wheat bread, life is good.
Balsamic Cherry Preserves
- 1 quart sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 pinch salt
- In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine the cherries and a splash of water. Bring to a boil, stirring and crushing the cherries with the back of your wooden spoon. This breaks the fruit up and releases juices.
- Once boiling, add the sugar, vinegar and salt. Decrease the heat slightly and cookat what I'd consider a medium boil - not going crazy, but more than a simmer. Frequently stir and crush the cherries. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let your pot sit for five minutes. Stir one final time.
- Ladle into hot, sterilized jars [very important for the quick process], leaving 1/4" headspace.
- Process in boiling water for 5 minutes, or refrigerate.