Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Amaretto Cherries

One of the historic methods for preserving food is submerging the food in alcohol.  The alcohol controls the bacteria, allowing the food to remain shelf-stable.

Of course, we have many other methods today, but there's something quite special about using alcohol to preserve fruit.  I present to you: Amaretto Cherries.

Alcohol and fruit are a natural match, as anyone who's ever eaten the fruit from a Hairy Buffalo or slurped on a vodka watermelon can tell you.  But this is a much more sophisticated product.

Take about a quart of either sour pie cherries or sweet cherries, and place them in a sterilized mason jar.  Cover the fruit with alcohol.  Here, I used some of the finest sipping amaretto.  Let the flavors blend for about a month, checking regularly to be sure your fruit is fully submerged.  You can store the finished product in the fridge, or it does stay shelf-stable for quite some time.

The quality of the alcohol you choose is important.  I tried this trick last year with some fairly cheap rum, and my finished product tasted a great deal like cherry-flavored rubbing alcohol.  By switching to sipping amaretto (I used DiSaronno), the finished product tastes a lot like maraschino cherries but without the cloying sweetness or artificial colors.  For my project, I used sour pie cherries, but sweet cherries will work just fine.

You can eat the fruit and enjoy the flavored liquor from this little project.  I think it will be just the thing on a cold winter's evening - if it lasts that long!  If not, I anticipate some very sophisticated homemade ice cream topping in my near future!

The Analysis

Fast:  Alcohol submersion is one of the fastest preservation methods.

Cheap:  Not particularly.  The cherries cost a bit from the farmer's market, but it's the quality alcohol that really drives up the price.

Good:  But I think it's well worth the investment!
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  1. Right now I have a lot of jars dehydrated cherries and I am wondering if those could be used?

    1. I haven't tried dehydrated fruit, but I would think it could be used. After all, there are methods for rehydrating dried fruit for eating, and I believe that soaking dried fruit in alcohol is one of the methods used to ready the fruit to make fruit cake. It may not turn out as plump as using fresh, but I'll bet it would be good, and the surrounding amaretto would still be yummy!

      Try it and let us know how it goes!