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Daniel Shoemaker’s Brandied Cherries

These flavorful brandied cherries are worth the extra work.

Ingredients

  • 5 lb Ripe, firm sweet Cherries
  • 1/2 cup Juniper berries, whole
  • 1/2 cup Allspice berries, whole
  • 6 Cinnamon sticks, lightly crushed
  • 3 Star anise, whole
  • 5 cup Sugar
  • 8 oz Fresh lemon juice, strained
  • 3 cup Water
  • 20 oz Brandy
  • 12 oz White rum
  • 8 oz Bourbon

Steps

  1. Clear away anything that you don't want to get spattered with cherry juice.

  2. It sprays and it stains, even when you're careful, so wear an old t-shirt.

  3. Pull off the stems and punch out the pits of the cherries with a cherry pitter.

  4. Bring to a simmer, stirring just until the sugar is dis­solved.

  5. Add the spice bundle and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the cherries.

  6. Using the slotted spoon, stir the cherries until they are all soaked in the syrup and are thor­oughly warmed.

  7. (You don't want to actually cook the cherries, just let them absorb the syrup.) Return the liquid and cherries to a simmer and pour in the brandy, rum, and bourbon, stirring to mix.

  8. When the liquid is warmed through, remove the pot from the heat.

  9. (Be sure not to boil the liquid because you don't want to cook off too much alcohol.) Using a wide-mouth funnel or jar filler and a slotted spoon, pack each canning jar with cherries, filling it to the top.

  10. Give the jar a good tap on the counter to settle the fruit so there are minimal air gaps.

  11. Ladle the hot syrup into the jars up to about half an inch from the rim.

  12. Place the flat part of the lid on the jar, and screw the band on lightly.

  13. Allow them to cool and let the seals form properly.

  14. You'll hear a nice pop as the vacuum forms and the lid is sucked down.

  15. Tighten the rings of all the jars that have sealed properly.