Saturday, July 29, 2006

Cherries Preserved In Armagnac

Here is a great method for preserving some of summer’s sweet cherries. Use these in mid-winter, if you can wait, as a dessert to spoon over ice cream or my non-fat frozen yogurt, or create a sauce for the quickly sautéed chicken breasts that I'll be posting next. Either way, sweet or savory, they’re wonderful. Can you see the image of my camera reflected in the cherries? I really have to work on my lighting techniques.

Cherries Preserved in Armagnac
Recipe may be doubled or tripled

3 cups cherries (Bing or other sweet, dark cherry), pits left in,
stems can be left on or removed
2 ½ cups good Armagnac or other good brandy, more if needed.

Wash cherries carefully and dry with a clean towel. Place them in a sterilized sealable jar and pour Armagnac over to cover all the fruit. Gently stir to settle liquid around all the cherries, seal jar and place in fridge for at least 3 weeks, longer if you wish.
Strain liquid into a sauce pan, reserving cherries in a bowl.
Add ½ cup superfine sugar (or granulated Splenda for low-carbers) plus one vanilla bean to the liquid. Stirring gently until sugar is dissolved, bring to just lukewarm over very low heat. Adjust sugar to your taste, re-warming to dissolve if necessary.

Place cherries back into the jar and pour the syrup over, including vanilla bean. Seal jar again and place in fridge to store. Remove the vanilla bean after 1-2 weeks.

Cherries can be used immediately or kept in the fridge for up to 1 year, though they will become stronger the longer they're stored.


  1. Oh how you can make a grown woman cry over a picture. That looks so bluddy good... I don't know if I'd even allow myself to put such a treat over anything. I just may eat it 'as-is'.

  2. Thanks Nerissa! yes, they are pretty good just by themselves.

  3. I loved seeing that picture. One of my favorite things in the whole world is Agrimontana cherries from Italy. Yours remind me of them. It so wonderful to spoon preserved cherries on bread or yogurt. I should make some myself. As you know, this area produces a huge amount of sweet cherries--so if I do, I certainly use your recipe! Thanks!!

  4. Thanks Sher. When I do this again I'll add a bit more sugar to make the brandy more syrupy. Where do I find Agrimontana cherries?

  5. Sometimes we find Agrimontana cherries in specialty food stores, but most of the time we get them from or


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