Recipes - Pickles & Dips / Recipes - Vegetarian

Pickled & spiced cherries

When it comes to pickling I’ve covered carrots, cucumbers and beetroot. And now with the Australian cherry season in full swing I figured it would be rude not to pickle a batch of cherries. I found this recipe in one of my cookbooks ‘Slow Food’ by Jared Ingersoll. His philosophy is to put produce first and let the seasons dictate what goes on your plate. As Jared points out “I get really excited when the cherry season starts….when I feel they are perfect, usually about 5-7 weeks after the first box goes on sale, I start to pickle as many as I can.”

Pickled & spiced cherries recipeTempted? Then grab a kilo or two of cherries and some red wine vinegar and get started. With this recipe there is no need to spend time removing the stones or even the stems so it literally takes only 15-20 minutes. And once preserved you’ll be able to enjoy these cherries for weeks, and even months.

Pickled & spiced cherries recipeThey are an amazing accompaniment to roast duck or smoked ham, but they would also work well as part of a dessert or simply served with some vanilla ice cream.

The recipe

  • I adapted Jared’s recipe to remove the sugar (500g per 1kg of cherries) but I’ve shown both the original and my adapted version below.
  • 1kg cherries makes 2.5 litres or 10 cups but you can make less just adjust the quantities to how many cherries you have.


  • 1kg cherries (2lb 4oz) keep them intact with the stems on
  • 750ml (26 fl oz / 3 cups) red wine vinegar
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) soft brown sugar or replace with your desired quantity of stevia as a natural sweetener
  • 6 cloves
  • 6 juniper berries
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 1 star anise
  • Peel and juice of 1 lemon, peel cut into strips
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamom pods


  • Rinse the cherries and remove any that don’t look great (remember to leave the stems intact).
  • Add all of the other ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil.
  • Leave to boil for a few minutes (Jared says no more than five minutes) then add the cherries and cook for another five minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and allow to cool.
  • Rest overnight in the pan then transfer to sterilised jars (they will last for months).

Pickled & spiced cherries recipeHow to sterilise jars for pickling 

  • Wash jars and lids in warm soapy water and remove any original labels
  • Put the jars in a pan covered with water, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and boil for 10-15 minutes
  • Optional extra step – remove from the water and add the jars into the oven at 100C for 10-15 minutes

Live in Sydney and keen to learn more about pickling? Then consider a course at Marrickville’s Cornersmith Cafe & Picklery. Pickling really is on the rise – alongside our desire to know more about exactly what goes into the foods we eat.  This Inner West cafe is now catering for Sydneysiders with pickling and preserving classes.

Finally here’s a great article to tempt you to get pickling – ‘Sydney’s in a pickle‘.

By Feast Wisely

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10 thoughts on “Pickled & spiced cherries

  1. This is perfect. It’s going to be a bumper cherry season this year. We’ve just picked 18 kilos of sour cherries from just one tree in my father’s garden ( a tree that was disappointingly barren last year) and made a dozen jars of cherry jam. Looks like we’ll be climbing the ladder again to pick some more to make these.

    • Hi Kathryn & Happy New Year – I just added a little stevia as conscious it can be strong, but haven’t noticed an aftertaste. And yes make heaps when cherrries are in season – I have 3kg in jars to last me through 2015.

      • Thanks! We had a bad cherry year last year, but hopefully this one will be more productive. I’ll experiment with the stevia — it seems that in some things it’s overpowering, but in others it blends in really well.

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