Cherries are small rounded fruits with a delicious taste that arrives on the table in the summer season. They are easily perishable, so many ways to preserve them have arisen over time. You can enjoy them whenever you wish during the repeating period and throughout the year. Let’s find out how to preserve cherries with home systems and which method is the best for each occasion.
How To Choose Cherries
Cherries are summer fruits that last for a brief period, and it is elementary for them to go wrong. They often lose turgor while the green and fresh petiole turns brown and dry. For this reason, if we want to preserve cherries, we must first buy them fresh. Going to the nearest farmer’s or fruit and vegetable market usually allows you to find freshly picked fruit. Check the peel first: it must be free of holes and spots, and the color must be bright. The cherry must be firm and not withered, so avoid cherries that are too soft; then observe the petioles, which must still be green and flexible. Finally, look at the color. They are at the right point of ripeness if it is deep red.
How To Store Cherries In The Fridge
It is possible to keep fresh cherries in the fridge for 2-4 weeks, depending on the variety (for example, those from Vignola are the most resistant). Take your fruits and wash them under cold water, pat them gently to absorb the excess water, and then transfer them to clean food bags. Close them tightly, letting the air out so they do not absorb the smells of other foods. Ensure the temperature in the fridge is between 0 and 4 °C. Never again, to ensure its freshness. And again, for this reason, before eating them, leave them at room temperature at least half an hour beforehand.
How To Freeze Cherries
Among the methods for preserving cherries, there is also freezing. How to keep cherries fresh with this method? This type of preservation makes it necessary to avoid transforming the fruit into a single block of frozen cherries. To prevent this from happening, wash and dry the cherries and then transfer them to a baking sheet. Place the pan in the fridge for an hour, during which the fruits will begin to cool. After the necessary time, place the cherries in freezer bags and close them, eliminating any air. So you can keep your red fruits for three months. And they will be ready to use, like fresh, even in the following months. Ready for jams, smoothies, or any other recipe you have in mind?
Cherries In Syrup
Cherries in syrup are a delight that can embellish a panna cotta, cakes, or ice cream. To preserve them, you must first prepare the syrup. Mix 1 L of water with 250 g of white sugar in a non-stick pan and let it dissolve completely until it becomes completely transparent. Let it boil for a minute, then turn it off and let it cool. Wash and dry your cherries and place them in a clean glass jar (whoever wishes can also pit them). Fill the jar with the syrup, covering the cherries completely. Sterilize the jar by boiling it, then let it rest in a dark place. With this system, you can store cherries for up to three months.
Cherries In Sugar
Sugar is an agent that can best preserve cherries. First, you must wash the cherries and dry them well, dabbing them with a clean cloth and then leaving them in the air for an hour. After the necessary time, put a layer of cherries in a clean jar, possibly with a broad base, and then cover them with sugar. Thus alternate various layers of cherries and sugar, continuing to the brim of the jar. Once the jar is closed, boil it in a bain-marie for 30 minutes. A fermentation will take place inside, transforming the sugar into alcohol, and the cherries will thus be kept for three months. Once the jar is opened, they are ready to be eaten.
How to store cherries if not with the most famous recipe of all? Preparing a jam will make cherries available at home throughout the year. It is a method that does not allow you to eat the whole fruit but still preserves its taste. As always, start by removing the stalk and washing and drying them. Put the cherries and sugar in a saucepan in a 2:1 ratio (for example, on 4 kg of cherries, add 2 kg of sugar).
If desired, add the juice of half a lemon and cook over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Complete the cooking by raising the flame until the fruit is completely blended. Turn off and leave to cool. Then pour the mixture into clean and already sterilized glass jars. You can keep jam for 12 months in your pantry.
Cherries Under Spirit
Let’s see immediately how to preserve cherries in spirit, a speedy and much-loved method of enjoying these rounded red fruits. First, you need to wash the cherries and, where possible, cut the stalk so that a small piece a few millimeters long remains attached to the fruit. The ingredients needed for 1 kg of cherries are 350 ml of water, 200 g of sugar, and 0.5 L of alcohol. You can choose what you prefer from pure alcohol, whisky, brandy, gin, or vodka. In a saucepan, prepare syrup with water and sugar. Slowly dissolve the sugar and, when it is transparent, boil for about a minute.
Please turn it off and let it rest. When it is cold, add the chosen alcohol. Put the clean cherries in a jar and cover them with alcoholic syrup. You can add cinnamon sticks, lemon peel, or ginger if you like. Close the jar and keep away from light. Before tasting, let this preserve for at least ten days. Instead, the entire jar lasts 365 days. As an alternative to alcohol, cherries can be preserved with maraschino liqueur or rum. It’s a very quick way to preserve.
Wash the cherries, always trying to leave a piece of stem. Dry them well and place them in a clean jar. Pour in the rum or maraschino, leaving a few millimeters of space in the jar. Before closing, put 2 or 3 tablespoons of white sugar. Then screw the lid tightly and store it in the dark. You will be able to taste the fruit after two months of rest, and all the fruit thus preserved will last a year.
Cherries In Grappa
If you love preserved alcohol, let’s find out how cherries are preserved in grappa. It is a valuable variant for keeping cherries for a year. Then you can use them for cocktails, fruit skewers, decorations, and more. Put ½ kg of cherries, 600 ml of grappa, and 60 g of sugar in a jar. Close it and let it rest for at least 30 days, by which time the grappa will begin to take on a bright red color. Once the necessary days have passed, they can be enjoyed immediately or kept for a year without opening them.
Do you like dried fruit? Raisins, apricots, figs, or dried strawberries? Thanks to the help of the oven (or a domestic electric dryer ), you can get delicious dried cherries. The first step is to turn on the oven at 75°C. Wash the cherries, and dry them well, depriving them of the stalk and stone. Arrange the cherries on a baking tray lined with non-stick paper, so they do not overlap. Bake them, and after 10 minutes, lower the temperature to 55°C. Leave to dry slowly for about 6 hours. You will get dehydrated cherries similar to blueberries or raisins. Once cooled, keep your cherries in a tightly closed jar, away from humidity and light.
Cherries In Vinegar
Vinegar also helps preserve your cherries. Wash, dry, and cut all the fruit with a knife. In a saucepan, let the vinegar soften with a spoonful of salt. In the meantime, fill the jars with cherries. If you wish, you can add peppercorns or star anise, depending on your taste. When the vinegar boils, please turn it off and let it cool. Then pour the mixture into the jar, close it, and leave it to macerate for 48 hours in a dark and cool place.
After the due time, reopen the jar and take only the vinegar by pouring it into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and let it cook for 10 minutes, then switch it off and let it cool. When it’s no longer hot, pour the vinegar into the cherries and let sit for two weeks before tasting. Accompany these cherries with boiled meats, roast meats, and fresh or aged cheeses: they will be a welcome surprise. And vinegar can be used for dressing salads and vegetables.
Also Read: How To Store Cooked And Raw Mushrooms