Just couldn’t let cherry season pass without making up a batch of these delicious Brandied Cherries!
Afew years ago I got brandied cherries from Costco and I remember them fondly because they made the best trifles, dessert sauces and ice cream topping.
I got excited and made these Drunken Cherries with Vodka but after I thought about it…. I just know I will be wishing I had Brandied Cherries when I am making my Christmas Trifle.
This recipe makes about 3 pints. A little of these go a long way so I made sure to fill a few 1/2 pint jars as well. They will make very welcome hostess gifts come Christmas I am sure!
This recipe is so easy. You just clean and pit the cherries. A cherry pitter really does help here.
Then you simmer the other ingredients to make a brandy syrup.
I sterilize my jars in a roasting pan spread over 2 burners, fill with a few inches of water. Invert your jars and bring the water to a simmer. Let it simmer about 15 minutes. The inverted jars will suck up some of the water so check periodically. You may have to tip the jars to release the water that has risen into the jars.
Add the lids and rims about 5 minutes before you are ready to start filling the jars.
When your syrup is ready fill your sterilized jars while still hot with the cherries. Use a funnel to fill the jar with the brandy syrup. Make sure the cherries are submerged and that you have a 1/2″ of head space between the liquid and the rim of the jar.
Make sure the jars and rims are clean ie no stray juice etc. Position the lid and screw the band on finger tight.
How Do I Store Brandied Cherries?
You have 2 choices at this point.
You can allow the jars to cool on the counter away from any drafts. (Overnight is good). Refrigerate the jars when they are at room temperature. You should hear the lids pop as they cool. This indicates they have made a seal. They will keep up to a year in the fridge.
Or you can fill a canner with water, enough to cover the jars by a couple of inches. Place a rack in the bottom of the canner so the jars are not on the bottom of the pot. Bring the water to a boil. Simmer the jars for 20 minutes from the time the water comes to a boil. Remove jars with tongs to a tea towel and allow them to cool to room temperature. You should hear the lids pop as they cool. This indicates they have made a seal. Store them in a dark, cool place for up to a year.
In both cases use the cherries within a month of opening them.
How Do I Serve Brandied Cherries?
Use them in this Pear Amaretto Trifle.
Pour the cherries and some of the syrup over this Super Easy Black Cherry Ice Cream. (You don’t need to make it look like a bunny…)
Drizzle them over dessert crepes.
Use the syrup in cocktails or wine spritzers. Add a cherry for accent.
- 2 lbs sweet cherries, destemmed and pitted about 6 cups
- 2 1/4 cups Brandy
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 Tbsps lemon juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Ensure cherries are clean, destemmed and pitted.
- Bring remaining ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan. Simmer about 20 minutes uncovered.
- While syrup is simmering sterilize jars. (3 pints or 6 1/2 pints or combination). Bring a few inches of water in a large pot of water to a boil; invert jars and simmer them about 15 minutes. Add rims and lids to water about 5 minutes before you are ready to start filling the jars.
- Remove jars from water and move to a tea towel. Fill jars with cherries leaving about 1 inch from the top. Using a funnel fill the jar with brandy syrup, ensuring cherries are covered and 1/2" of headspace remains from the liquid to the rim.
- Ensure the rim of the jar and sides are clean and dry.
- Center a lid and screw on rim until just finger tight.
- Variation 1: Allow jars to cool on the counter. You should hear pops as the jars cool meaning the lids have sealed. Refrigerate upto 1 year. Use within a month of opening.
- Variation 2: Fill a canner with water and add a rack to the bottom so jars are not sitting right on the pot bottom. Add jars, they should not be crowded. Water should cover the lids by about 2 inches. Bring water to a boil. When the water boils start timer for 20 minutes, ensuring water continues to simmer.
- When time is up remove jars with tongs and allow to cool on counter. Jars can be kept in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
- Allow cherries to 'cure' at least 2 weeks before using. (Longer is better.)