I know summer has officially arrived the day I see cherries at farmers market.
Their appearance signals the beginning of stone fruit season–my favorite time of year! I know when cherries are in, it won’t be long before peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots will follow. That’s why I like to savor and make the very best of the cherry harvest while it lasts.
One of the easiest (and tastiest) ways to preserve the bounty is this recipe for Tipsy Cherries where fresh, sun-ripened fruits macerate in a decadent fusion of sugar and vanilla-steeped brandy. YUM! It’s a versatile concoction that can be used in a myriad of ways.
If left whole with stems and seeds intact, Tipsy Cherries are a lovely garnish for summer cocktails. With a little extra effort to remove the stems and pits, they make a delicious filling for pies, tarts or crisp. You can also spoon them over fresh churned ice cream (think dark chocolate!), or warm pancakes with whipped cream along with a drizzle of their boozy juices. The macerating liquid can even be strained off and enjoyed as a sumptuous cherry-infused brandy liquor.
This simple recipe can be made in no time, and Tipsy Cherries will last for up to one month in the refrigerator. They are a seasonal treat that’s sure to become a favorite.
TIPSY VANILLA CHERRIES (Makes 1 1/2 pints)
printable recipe here: TIPSY CHERRIES
- 1 pound fresh sweet or tart cherries (pitted and stemmed, or whole as desired)
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of granulated organic sugar
- 1 cup brandy (inexpensive works just fine!)
- 1 whole vanilla bean
- cherry pitter
- 1 24 oz. wide mouth Mason jar
- Rinse, stem, and pit cherries* and spoon into the wide mouth Mason jar. *if using as cocktail garnish, leave pits & stems intact.
- Combine the water, sugar, and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
- Remove from heat, and stir in the brandy.
- Use tongs to remove the vanilla bean from the hot mixture, and tuck the bean into the jar with the cherries. Pour the brandy liquid over the cherries almost to the top. Let cool to room temperature, then seal and refrigerate. Let macerate for 2-3 weeks for best flavor.