16 Aug2011

Pickled Cherries

by Marketman

I have never pickled cherries before. But I have seen them used as accents to savory dishes or on salads in fancy restaurants before. With a bounty of Rainier cherries on hand, I decided to use a couple of handfuls to make some pickled cherries. I followed the basic pickling liquid in the Momofuku cookbook of David Chang, and the cherries are currently marinating in the fridge…

Wash cherries thoroughly. Stem and pit them. Put the pitted cherries in a clean container. Save the pits and smash them lightly with a mallet in a mortar and pestle. Heat up liquid in the following proportions: 1 cup water, 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar, 8 tablespoons of sugar and the smashed cherry seeds. Bring to a boil, stir and let this cool for a minute or two. Pour the pickling liquid over the cherries and let this cool before placing them in the fridge. They should marinate for a few days before using them.



  1. Stewart says:

    Hi MM,

    Love them Ranier cherries, glad the prices have gone down here in Vancouver and they’re grown locally as well. Just curious, cherry pits contain cyanogenic acids, wouldn’t the smashing and marinating of the cherries in the pit liquid cause some concern?


    Aug 16, 2011 | 4:43 am


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  3. sister says:

    Funny you should be making pickled cherries as I try to move around the fridge my two gallons of pickled sour cherries in red wine vinegar, with star anise, peppercorns, bay leaves, sugar and salt put up in June. I didn’t pit them, left the stems on, just pricked them with a pin and poured the pickling liquid and spices over them. Great with duck, pheasant, or pork.

    Aug 16, 2011 | 4:45 am

  4. izang says:

    nice jar.

    Aug 16, 2011 | 10:48 am

  5. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    With Rainier cherries in season, i will definitely try this,Stewart..there is an article on egg beater,blog by Shuna Fish Lydon about Cherry pits.

    Aug 16, 2011 | 1:19 pm

  6. kariz says:

    oh! i didnt know we can put the pits in the liquid too. no bitter aftertaste? that’s interesting! can’t wait to get my hands on some cherries!

    Aug 16, 2011 | 9:05 pm

  7. nina says:

    That sounds delish, sister. Would you mind sharing the recipe for the picked cherries? Thanks.

    Aug 16, 2011 | 10:01 pm

  8. sister says:

    Nina, You might have to wait for next June to find sour Morello or Montmorency cherries but here’s the recipe. Maybe try it with Bing cherries which are still in season in the Pacific Northwest:
    Pickled cherries:
    2 qt. fresh sour cherries washed and drained
    2 c. red wine vinegar 6% acidity
    1 c. sugar
    2 c. water
    1 tbsp. kosher salt
    6 whole star anise
    3 bay leaves
    2 tsp. whole peppercorns

    Prick each cherry twice with a needle so it will absorb the brine faster. Leave the stems on.
    Pack tightly in a very clean or sterilized 2 qt. bottle.
    Mix al the rest of the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a hard boil.
    Pour over cherries. You might have some extra brine.
    Cover tightly and cool.
    Refrigerate for 1 week before serving.
    Keeps about 2 months in the fridge.
    Serve as a condiment with roast duck, chicken, lamb or pork. You can thicken 1 c. of the brine with 1 tbsp. cornstarch, bring it to a boil and coat the cherries just before service.

    Aug 17, 2011 | 1:16 am

  9. sister says:

    I’ve bought just about every cherry pirtter on the market and none of them work perfectly. I pit about 48 qts. of sour cherries in June for jam and pies. Better to use a large stiff straw or a large hairpin or paper clip. The Leifheit left so many pits that the pies were a minefield. Pitters push the the pits out the other end and leave 2 holes whle a straw, hairpin, or paper clip simply pulls the pit out the stem end and you will have whole cherries.

    Aug 17, 2011 | 1:29 am

  10. shalimar says:

    today the crew chorused: ‘ THINK WE ARE TOO OVER WITH CHERRIES..” imagine we were gifted 3 boxes of cherries, each box was around 15 kilos each… (Turkey is one of the greatest cheery producer in the world)… oh my all kinds of cherry desserts… I wanted to do some greek way of preserving them but I had no time…

    Anyway in Kos.. we had vanilla ice cream topped with sour cherry preserves yum!

    Aug 17, 2011 | 3:18 am

  11. Peach says:

    Sister’s comments are always so interesting :) Hope she can be your guest blog someday MM, so she can share recipes with photos! That would be so cool.

    Aug 17, 2011 | 8:10 am

  12. Peach says:

    Guest “blogger” :)

    Aug 17, 2011 | 8:38 am

  13. MP says:

    Thanks for the recipe Sister. I’ll definitely try pickling some cherries soon. We have them (black and red) here in abundance now so they’re dirt cheap!

    Aug 17, 2011 | 6:21 pm

  14. Andrea Santos says:

    Always enjoy your posts, MM. :)

    Aug 21, 2011 | 10:35 am

  15. farida says:

    Lots of cherries again, so I went to look up the recipe. Thanks, Sister. Will be using the ones I pickled last year tomorrow as condiment to the pork chops. Wonder how they will taste.

    Jul 15, 2012 | 11:27 am


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