Scott Clime's Maraschino Cherries 2.000

Renee Comet for The Washington Post

Plate Lab Apr 4, 2014

Sour cherry season, in summer, is all too brief. Here's a way to make the fruit last through the year. Use these in cocktails -- they are nothing like the bright-red kind you'll find in grocery stores or atop ice cream sundaes -- and in the related recipe for Cherry Sambal.

Make Ahead: The cherries need to macerate overnight in the salted water solution, and again overnight in the sugar-lemon juice solution. The maraschino cherries can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or canned via the water-bath method for longer storage.

Where to Buy: Frozen and jarred sour cherries are available at Middle Eastern markets and at some Russian markets.

2 pints

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Tested size: 2 pints

  • 4 cups pitted (fresh or frozen/defrosted) sour cherries
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract

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Place the cherries in a shallow, heatproof glass or ceramic bowl.

Combine 1 1/4 cups of the water and the salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the salt has dissolved. Remove from the heat; cool for 10 minutes, then pour over the cherries. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Drain the cherries, discarding the liquid. Rinse them under cool water. Rinse out the bowl they were in to remove all traces of salt, then return the rinsed, drained cherries to the bowl.

Combine the sugar, lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and immediately pour over the cherries. Cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight; stir the cherries once or twice during that time, if possible.

Strain, reserving the cherries and letting the liquid drain into a small saucepan. Place the cherries in a heatproof container with a tight-fitting lid. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then add the almond extract. Remove from the heat and pour over the cherries, making sure they're all submerged. Cool, then refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from Scott Clime, wine and beverage director for the Passion Food Hospitality group.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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