I can eat a whole jar of maraschino cherries in one sitting. Shirley Temples have always been a favorite drink of mine. No ice cream sundae is complete without a cherry on top.
Sweet cherries have vitamins like C and A and they are a good source of fiber. However, when these cherries are processed into maraschino cherries, they lose much of their nutritional value.
Homemade maraschino cherries keep their health benefits and they taste just as good, if not better than the processed cherries.
I have actually been planning to make maraschino cherries with sweet cherries from Strites’ Orchard since I learned I could make them myself. This week’s CSA included them so I used the entire quart to make two jars of maraschino cherries. The honey is also from Strites’ Orchard.
How to pit a cherry
You don’t need any fancy equipment to pit a cherry. Pitting a whole quart of cherries might sound like a tedious and time consuming task, but I used the paperclip method and it went very quickly. Simply insert the paperclip in the cherry where the stem was, twist and pull out the pit. See this video for a demonstration.
I adapted this recipe from Bake This Cake.
- 1 quart sweet cherries, pitted
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 quart water
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup honey
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 5-10 drops red food coloring (Optional)
- In a pan, bring the quart of water and salt to a boil. Cool.
- Add the cherries and chill overnight.
- Drain and rinse the cherries.
- In another pan, mix the water and honey. Add the lemon juice and bring to a boil.
- Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Cool and add the food coloring, vanilla, and almond extract.
- Pack the cherries in jars. Pour the syrup on top.
- Store in the fridge.