Pickled Cherries

Pickled Cherries Recipe

This pickled cherries recipe is an easy yet unexpected way to extend the ephemeral cherry season.–Renee Schettler Rossi

LC How To Put Pickled Cherries To Good Use Note

Let’s not dally, shall we? After all, there are tartly sweet, subtly spiced cherries the likes of which you’ve probably never experienced. How to put pickled cherries to good use? Here are some of our preferred incarnations, but don’t let them stifle your imagination. Wanna share your intended use? We’d love to hear it. Let us know in a comment below.

Plop on a cheese board
Slip into cocktails
Spoon onto ice cream
Toss into salad (and don’t neglect to dribble some pickling liquid into the vinaigrette)
Nibble alongside charcuterie
Stir into pan juices of roast chicken or pork or duck

Special Equipment: Cherry pitter; 2 pint jars with lids

Pickled Cherries Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 25 M
  • Makes 2 pints


  • 1 1/4 pounds (about 4 cups or 570 grams) fresh cherries, pitted and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 pieces crushed star anise
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 1/2 cups white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup cold water


  • 1. Pack the cherries into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch space at the top of each jar.
  • 2. Combine the salt, sugar, star anise, clove, vinegar, and water in a nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  • 3. Carefully ladle the hot pickling liquid into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch space at the top of each. Screw on the lids and bands, let cool for 2 hours, and then either refrigerate for 7 to 10 days or process and keep for up to 10 months.

Pickled Blueberries Variation

  • Simply substitute blueberries for cherries. Easy peasy.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Jo Ann Brown

Jun 18, 2015

Oh, what to do with these little pickled beauties? Sweet, sour, fruity, and fragrant. Shall they grace my cocktail as an unusual garnish? Or shall I perhaps chop them into a fine relish for a pork chop or chicken curry? Maybe serve them on toast points with country pâté or old-fashioned chopped liver? I suggest you give this pickled cherries recipe a try and let the cherries inspire you to elevate the everyday. Knowing I would not be processing the cherries to be shelf-stable, I halved the recipe. I found no problems with the finished product from making this conversion. As for the star anise, I used 2 smallish pieces of broken wholes I found at the bottle of my spice jar. I did not have a proper cherry pitter so I had to cut the cherries in half in order to tear the little stones out. This, I suspect, made the fruit bleed even more intensely into the pickling liquid. But I didn't mind, as the jar sure was beautiful swirling with deep black-garnet syrup.

Testers Choice
Irene Seales

Jun 18, 2015

I made both the pickled cherries and the pickled blueberries using a double batch of the pickling solution. I went for nearly complete star anise pieces, making sure there would be 1 for each jar. The yield was perfect.

I knew I would have to guard the dark and plump pickled cherries, gently infused with clove and star anise, as they are so tempting to eat straight out of the jar. I tried to hide them in the fridge to make them last the week, especially as we were near the end of cherry season.

At first I was a little worried about how I might use up a quart of pickled blueberries without putting them through a canning process, but then I tasted them and have found them wonderful in so many salads and even in a fig-tomato salsa I made up on the spot for a taco night. They shine when combined with other fresh fruits and vegetables and accent a grain salad nicely. So easy, and when lush blueberries are available, an affordable luxury ingredient.

The pickling liquid works beautifully as part of a salad dressing. The fruit would also be excellent with roasted meats. I may have been super efficient or simply lucky with packing the fruit into the jars without crushing the cherries, but I had a bit of the pickling liquid left over. I looked around for whatever fruit was on hand and was also able to pickle an additional 1 pint rhubarb and 1/2 pint apricots (both sliced in narrow 1-inch strips). Lovely and still firm after 2 to 3 days and part of a nightly pickle plate!

Testers Choice
Melissa Maedgen

Jun 18, 2015

If you've been blueberry picking and have a whole lot more blueberries than you know what to do with, or want to make something besides jam, here's a recipe to try. It's a little different than other pickled blueberry recipes I've tried, because in those, you briefly cook the blueberries in the pickling liquid, then let them cool overnight, and then pack the blueberries into jars and reduce the pickling liquid to a sauce before adding to the blueberries. This version is much simpler and doesn't give you that thick, tart, pickled blueberry syrup. What it does give you is nice, whole blueberries with a fair amount of pickle tang to them.

And what do you do with pickled blueberries? Well, they make a nice accompaniment to meats like ham or pork chops—anything where a fruit relish would go well. You can also put them over brie or goat cheese for a canapé. And they are not half bad right out of the jar.

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