The Plight of the Post-Doc

6.21.2010

Ph.Dishes - Brandied Cherries!

Aw, I can't stay mad for long--especially when it's cherry season! Here at Chez Dr Becca, the start of cherry season means it's time for a new batch of brandied cherries, and it is a happy time indeed.  If you've never had a brandied cherry before, you've truly been missing out on one of Life's Finer Pleasures ($20 and Under), so thank heavens you stumbled across this blog when you did! These are super easy and so incredibly delicious, especially in a tasty cocktail or over ice cream.  They also make a nice gift.  So go to the store, buy a big old bag of bings, and let's get started!

The first step in making brandied cherries is to change your clothes.  No seriously. You've got to pit your cherries, and pitting cherries is a juicy mess of an endeavor, so go ahead and put on whatever you'd normally reserve for yard work or something.  Pitting is an absolute necessity, not only because it makes eating them easier, but because it allows much more of your spicy brandy concoction to soak into the cherries. You might not own a cherry pitter, but they're not too hard to find, and not that expensive. I got mine at a restaurant supply store for ~$5.  It looks not wholly unlike a primitive torture device:


Now I'm not going to sugar coat things, here--pitting isn't fun. But you must persevere, so flip on the telly or a podcast or whatever and get to work!

When you're finished, set the cherries aside, and raid your spice cabinet. Be sure to grab some cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom--whole sticks/pods are preferable, but ground is OK too. Other spices in that general family can also be good, like allspice or maybe even a teensy bit of coriander.

Add equal parts white sugar and water to a large saucepan, about a cup of each per pint of cherries you have.  Add your spices, remembering that a little goes a long way, especially when it comes to cloves (and cardamom). And you know what else?  It certainly wouldn't kill you to add a splash of vanilla extract to the mix.  Heat it all and stir until the sugar is dissolved, and then let it simmer for around 5 min.  While you're waiting, you may as well go ahead and open your bottle of brandy.  And while your bottle of brandy is open, you might as well pour yourself a little glass.  I mean, what else would you do with 5 minutes?

After making sure that the brandy hasn't been poisoned (nobody wants poisoned brandied cherries!), turn off the heat and dump your cherries into the pot.  Stir in some brandy, maybe 1/2 cup per cup of water you  put in, but no one's complaining if you round up, you know what I mean?  Cover the pot and let everything sit until it's cooled to room temp, and then transfer cherries and syrup to a sealable jar.

Stick the jar in the fridge, preferably somewhere hidden, because now comes the hard part--you've got to wait for the cherries to macerate. They're going to taunt you every time you go for a wine cooler (hypothetically speaking), but you must resist!!  Give it at least 2 weeks before breaking the seal, and then get yourself a nice pint of Haagen-Dazs Vanilla or a nice Rittenhouse Rye Manhattan, and....MMMMMM!!!!!!!


4 comments:

Candid Engineer said...

Yum!

Pika said...

Sounds delicious!

nightsongfire said...

I make something I just call 'alcoholic fruit'. It's basically like strawberry shortcake. Take strawberries and cut them up (you can also add blueberries or even raspberries to this) and then add triple sec and sugar (splenda also works, in fact it dissolves better). Stick the mix in the fridge to cool down and then enjoy.

Dr Becca, PhD said...

Nightsongfire, I don't know where you ever had strawberry shortcake, but I want to go to there.

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