Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Preserved Cherries from Chiltern

Next March is the Tastes of Rutherglen. It goes over two weekends Saturday 12th-13th March (Vic Labour Day long weekend) & 19th-20th March 2011.

On the Sunday I will be making a baked vanilla bean cheesecake with local cherries from Hotson's Cherries Chiltern & a vanilla cherry macaron.

On Christmas eve my daughter Anne-Maree (who has a dislocated knee, so she was a perfect helper for picking off the cherry stalks) & myself pitted 10 kilos of fresh cherries. I poached them in a basic stock syrup & then packed them into preserving jars with a split vanilla bean ready for Tastes in March.

Preserved Chiltern Cherries

1.25 kilos fresh cherries
750 grams caster sugar (super fine)
1 litre cold water
1 spilt vanilla bean per jar


  • Sterilise jars according to the directions. I usually place the clean jars in the oven @ 130 degrees for half & hour & boil the lids for half an hour also.
  • Pit the cherries. I use a  Gefu pitter
  • Add water to a large pot
  • Pour in caster sugar
  • Bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Have a jug of cold water handy with a pastry brush to brush down the sides of the pot to prevent the stock syrup from crystallizing.
  • Add pitted cherries & bring back to the boil, you will have to cover with a lid to speed up the process.
  • Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Scoop cherries out of the syrup & place into hot jars with vanilla bean (you can also add a cinnamon stick if you wish)
  • Bring the syrup back to the boil & simmer for 5 minutes then pour over cherries, seal with the lids
  • Any extra cherry syrup can be used in other recipes or frozen.