You can easily make your own glace cherries for fruit cakes and your Christmas stollen.
The cherries you do yourself will be a darker red instead of that false neon color and will be made with only cane sugar and very little or no GMOs.
These will actually taste like sweet cherries, with no odd chemical aftertaste. You’ll also save money.
I used beautiful dark Bing cherries for mine — you could choose to use Royal Anne, Ranier, or other varieties if you choose.
• 1 pound pitted cherries
• 3 cups sugar
• 2 cups water
• optional: 1 tbsp light corn syrup
Note: Corn syrup is a GMO and you may choose not to use it. It is only 1 tablespoon and it does prevent the syrup from crystallizing. All other syrups I can think of will crystallize.
1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, stir the sugar into the water. Bring to a boil and cook to 230 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. At this point, I transfer to my copper jam pot, because it will now foam up a lot. You need a big pot. Stir in the cherries and the optional corn syrup if you’re using it, bring back to a simmer and cook gently for an hour. Stir only often enough to be sure it’s not sticking. The syrup should be quite thick and the cherries translucent.
3. Turn off the heat and let the cherries rest overnight in the syrup. The next day, heat up the cherries and bring the mixture up to 230 degrees. Turn off the heat and let them cool. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cherries to a wide-mouthed canning jar or freezer tub.
Because there are no preservatives used in my method, I like to store my cherries frozen in a little of the syrup until it’s time for holiday baking.
Save the Syrup! Pour it into a jar and refrigerate to add to summer drinks instead of sugar.
Make Sangria with Cherry Syrup
This is lovely, not-too-sweet and a very festive pink. If I were Spanish, I’d add some brandy, but I like to drink this on a hot summer day without getting tipsy. Mix this all up in a big pitcher with plenty of ice.
• 1 bottle chardonnay or sauvignon blanc
• 1-liter bottle club soda
• juice of 2 big limes
• ½ cup leftover syrup from cherries
Wendy Akin is a happy to share her years of traditional skills knowledge. Over the years, she’s earned many state fair ribbons for pickles, relishes, preserves and special condiments, and even a few for breads. Read all of Wendy’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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