Balsamic Preserved Cherries

I have a self imposed rule about shoes and purses.  In order for me to buy a new one, an old one has to go.  For the shoes, this isn’t so problematic.  I tend to go through them on a regular basis.  Typically, the pair I’m buying is to replace the pair that I’ve just worn out.

It’s a little trickier with the purses.  I have to think long and hard about which one I am willing to part with in order to add a new one to my collection.  Honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve bought a new purse…but there was a lovely Kate Spade bag on ridiculous sale a few months ago that nearly pushed my beat up Coach bag into the donation pile.

In the year or so that I’ve been canning, I’ve come to realize that I need to expand this rule just a bit to include jars.  The collection of half pint jars…both empty and full…is threatening to take over what little storage space we have here at BAH.  That means that until we eat our way through what’s already been canned, or give it away, I am on canning restriction.  No new jars will be purchased and no new batches of jams or jellies will be cooked up.

Part of the canning collection that we’ve dug into recently is the balsamic preserved cherries.  Both savory and sweet, they are one of the more versatile jars in the stash…they could go with a pork or beef tenderloin as easily as they dress up my morning yogurt.  I can’t believe it has taken us this long to open them up and let them shine in all of their syrupy balsamic glory.

Fortunately, I should have plenty of time to work through the rest of the inventory before cherry season comes back around.  Because I need to make sure these get restocked.

Balsamic Cherries

Adapted from Nomnivorous

BAH Note: You’re going to want a cherry pitter for this project.  If you don’t have one, see if you can borrow one or just resign to buying one for about twenty bucks.  Pitting this many cherries is a bit of work, even with the gadget, but the pitter should cut down on the cursing and CSI worthy spattering.  If you absolutely can’t get your hands on a pitter, you could use a paring knife to carefully cut the cherries open and squeeze out the pits.

  • 4 cups sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1 /2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Combine the cherries and water in a large dutch oven or other non-reactive pot.  Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring frequently and lightly crushing the cherries to break them up and release juice.

Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of kosher salt. Continue to gently boil the mixture for approximately 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until it thickens a bit but is still loose.

Ladle the mixture into heated jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space, and process for 10 minutes.

Let the jars cool for 24 hours before checking the seal and storing the jars. Any jars that have not sealed should be refrigerated or immediately reprocessed using new lids.

balsamic cherries

16 thoughts on “Balsamic Preserved Cherries

  1. Ah, now that I actually understand the goodness of real balsamic I can more fully appreciate this application.

    Part of my canning resistance has to do with using the stuff up. We really just don’t eat a lot of jam unless we are gifted some by a kind canner. (fyi – my phone just tried to correct canner to Canberra!)

    1. Jennifer, don’t forget that jam isn’t just for your english muffins. Many of the jams that I make compliment savory dishes. And applesauce can be used to replace some fats in baking.

      Have I convinced you yet to give canning a try????


    1. I’ve been bitten by the canning bug in a big way. It’s such a treat to pull a new jar off the shelf and enjoy the fruit of my labor (sorry for the bad pun).

      Hope you’ll give the balsamic cherries a try.

    1. Or even spread on a beautiful ham sandwich. Oh, now I’m wanting more of these….and I think our stash is gone : (


      1. Oh, I can definitely see this playing nicely with pork. Maybe use as a glaze as the roast bakes and then garnish with the cherries, or just spoon the whole shebang over the slices at the table.


  2. Wow! This sounds fabulous! I have a cherry obsession, and strawberry balsamic jam was one of my favorite preserves from last year… So this will be a must once cherries are I season here. Thanks for the splendid idea! Oh, and I was really laughing about your jar overload and hoping my husband didn’t see that you have to use up what you have before you can make more….

    1. Alicia, it took me a LONG time to warm up to cherries. But now that I’ve made these balsamic babies, I think we are destined for a long term relationship. And we can keep my coping strategy our little secret.

  3. Wendi, I’m glad to see you enjoyed these cherries. I did make the jam recipe again and they turned out more like cherries in syrup, which seems like what you got. Thanks for the reminder to up[date the recipe but I do hope your enjoy them jammed or not!

    1. I think I enjoyed these more in a less jammy state than I would have if they had set up. These are definitely going on my to do list once I fire up the canner again. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Oh yum…these sound fantastic. Can’t wait for cherries and I never used to feel that way. The change? That cherry picker you mention. Yes you can cut out the pits with a knife but get a pitter; makes the job so much easier and quicker…which means I use them more. I made some maraschino cherries with a jar of sour cherries over the holidays but really love them more from fresh cherries and I’m out!

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