Cerises à l’eau de vie

cherries in brandy 4It’s cherry season now, but it won’t last forever. Once you’ve eaten your fill, made jam and a cherry pie, what is to be done? You adore the flavor of this beautiful fleshy red fruit and can’t stand the thought that cherries will soon disappear from markets for 11 months. The solution, my friends, is easy: Preserve them in brandy, in any of its forms: eau de vie, Cognac, Armagnac, grappa, or — as in my corner of Burgundy — Marc de Bourgogne. Wait a few months, and you’ll have an after-dinner pleasure to enjoy by the fireside.

Cerises à l’eau de vie / Cherries in brandy

I made these the other day and it took literally 5 minutes. The most time consuming part is finding the right kind of cherries and brandy and jars, as explained in the recipe. Then you snip the stems, pile everything into the jars and put them aside to mature. The cherries will darken in color and their pits and stems will add a nutty nuance to the flavor. Don’t yield to temptation and open the jars too early, for you will be so thoroughly seduced by the luscious odor that you may eat the cherries too soon. It’s worth the wait of at least three months to achieve this perfectly sweet and delightfully inebriating  treat.

cherries in brandy 1cherries in brandy 6At right, the cherries as they look on Day 1 and at Year 3. Once sealed in their jars, they may be kept for many years.

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