Saturday, August 1, 2009

Homemade Maraschino Cherries

I wanted to make some homemade maraschino cherries. After scouring the internet I finally found one that was to my liking. A lot of the recipes are made with maraschino cherry liquor. Not that it's a bad thing- by no means- it's not. But after purchasing some liquor recently the last thing I wanted to do was go and drop some more of my cash at the liquor store. So I went with these.

My only regret is that I did half of a recipe and really these were fabulous- would make them again but with the full recipe. They are not as sweet as the store bought kind but they do have a lot of flavor. If you like them real sweet just add more sugar than is called for.

Maraschino cherries can be made with any kind of a sweet cherry. Generally it is made from Rainier, Royal and Gold varieties. It is a bit of a misnomer though because they all began with the Marasca Cherry in Italy. You can read more about the Marasca Cherry and the liquor here at Wikipedia.

Homemade Maraschino Cherries
recipe found here at Recipezaar

4 1/2 lbs pitted red cherries
4 1/2 lbs white sugar
3 cups water
juice of 1 lemon
1 ounce almond extract
1 ounce red food coloring
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon alum

Soak pitted cherries overnight in heated brine. The next morning, drain cherries. Rinse them in cold water. Combine cherries, water, sugar, lemon juice, and red food coloring. Heat to the boiling point.Let stand about 24 hours.

Again, boil juices, pour over cherries and let stand 24 hours.

Bring to boil again. Add almond extract and cherries. Pack in hot sterilized jars and seal. The Ball Blue book says boil this in a water bath-pints-20 minutes, quarts-25 minutes.

*If you are the daring sort you could use the cherry pits to flavor them rather than the almond extract, which is the same thing anyway. Just take them out before canning.


Lucy said...

These cherries look great and image that are far superior than the store bought!

While I was in Italy, my cousin made a fabulous bowl of assorted cut up fruit and added the maraschino liquor... OMG it was the perfect paring! I've not had much luck finding this liquor, which reminds I must renew my efforts.

Any suggestions for a good brand?

Donna-FFW said...

OMG!! So impressive. These look wonderful. Never even knew anyone who made these at home. LOVE them. Didja pit all the cherries yourself?

kat said...

Oh what a great idea to make your own! I go through a bunch at Christmas making chocolate covered cherry cookies & using home canned cherries would be so cool

Katy ~ said...

Good heavens, I didn't know one could make these at home. I'll wager these make all the difference in any kind of cooking!!

Indigo said...

Ah, this is such a great idea! I love how cute the jars look too, that colour's amazing. I bet they taste so much better than storebought, especially for being a little less sweet.

Lori said...

Lucy- That sounds wonderful. I have not had any cherry liquors yet. The Luxardo one was featured on the Wikipedia page. I may end up getting it because the fruit with the cherry juice sounded so good.

Donna- I did pit them all. The cherries were so ripe the pits came out very easily.

Kat- I bet they would be delicious!

Katy- I didnt know it until recently myself. I cant wait to use them for something.

Indigo- I love the color too!

Madam Chow said...

This is wonderful - I love the idea of making it at home, so you don't have all those chemicals in the cherries. They look delicious!

Bunny said...

You are all that and a bag of chips Lori, making your own maraschino cherries!! They look fantastic!

Murasaki Shikibu said...

I am in awe of all the fruit preserves you make including your jams. I'd love to take a peek in your pantry to see the whole range of them. :)

Selba said...

Wow... those cherries look so great!

Grace said...

i had no idea a person could make her own maraschino cherries. awesome. meanwhile, i'll bet your shelves are some of the most colorful and heavy-laden ever. :)

DoughGirl said...

MMmmm...what a wonderful idea, they look delicious!

Anonymous said...

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LittleRed said...

Wow, that's another thing on my to do list. I have an old BC Fruits recipe guide from back in the 50's with a recipe in it that I've been waiting to try. I bet not many people have made them....good for you!

BroHogan said...

All the recipes for maraschino cherries I've seen include the brine soak. I tried with and without.

The brine soak ruined the color and the taste of the cherries - without it, much better. What's it's purpose?

Lori said...

BroHogan- I have not tried it without but I will now after you mention it. The only thing that I can guess is that the salt pulls the moisture out of the cherries- that moisture is then replaced with sugar and almond flavoring.

I personally find that the cherries are pretty flavorful, especially after they sit for a while.

Unknown said...

hi, just curious, saw that alum is one of the ingredients. i assume it affects the texture of the cherries. does it make them more crisp, similar to the grocery store style?

Lori said...

Hi, yes, the alum helps it to keep it from getting mushy. Its not as hard as some of the ones in the store though.