Cerises à l’eau de vie

cherries in brandy 2

Cherries in brandy

This is a simple way to preserve cherries while they’re in season and enjoy them throughout the rest of the year. Follow the steps, label your jars with the month and year, and put them away in a dark place like a cupboard. Forget about them for a few months — say until Christmas — and then remember what a treat you have waiting to be opened.

In France, it is easy to find eau de vie pour fruits, a flavorless distillation that clocks in at 38 percent alcohol content. If this is not available where you live, I’d suggest using a bland vodka — or any brandy, cognac, armagnac or grappa.

As for the cherries, go for a not-too-sweet variety. The Rainier cherries pictured above work well, as do red bing cherries and morello sour cherries.

cherries in brandy 1You will also need jars that can be hermetically sealed, preferably with a rubber ring, as shown in the photo. The recipe is for 2 one-pint jars.

1 pound fresh cherries
1-3/4 cup (400 ml) eau de vie, vodka or brandy
4 tbsp. white sugar

Make sure your jars are clean and dry. If you rinse the cherries, allow them to dry before beginning.

cherries in brandy 3Snip off the ends of the cherry stems, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) of stem. The stems add a delightful nutty flavor to the finished product.

cherries in brandy 5Pack the cherries into the jars, leaving a little space at the top. Fill the jars with the alcohol. Add 2 tbsp. sugar to each jar.

Seal the jars and give them a shake. It will take about 24 hours for the sugar to dissolve completely. To help this process along, shake the jars from time to time, turning them upside down and back again. When the sugar has completely dissolved, label your jars and put them away for at least three months.

cherries in brandy 4Serve the cherries on their own in pretty glasses, or over vanilla ice cream for a special dessert. Serves many, and also makes a wonderful gift.

 


* Chosen by FrenchEntrée.com to celebrate 100 issues of FrenchEntrée magazine


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4 Responses to Cerises à l’eau de vie

  1. Tom Drohan says:

    The Kentucky version is made with bourbon – Cherry Bounce – delicious!

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