Pickled cherries are so easy to make and a wonderful addition to a meal. Try them with roast duck, or a baby spinach salad with hazelnuts. They also go well with pork, as the sweet fruit flavour and acid in the pickle cuts through the fat.
600ml cider vinegar
5cm piece cinnamon stick
1 tsp allspice berries
Finely grated zest and juice of one orange
1kg firm red cherries, halved and pitted
750g white sugar
1 tbsp lemon thyme
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves left on stalk
Put vinegar, cinnamon, allspice berries, orange zest and juice into a pan and bring to the boil. Boil for 4-5 minutes, strain and set aside to cool.
Transfer cooled vinegar mix to a clean saucepan, add cherries and slowly bring to a simmer. Simmer over a very gentle heat for 10-15 minutes until cherries are just tender. Remove cherries with a slotted spoon and pack into warm, sterilised jars.
Add sugar to spiced vinegar and return to heat. Stir until sugar dissolves then cook for a few more minutes until mixture has reduced and thickened a little. Remove from heat, add herbs and stir then stand for 5 minutes to infuse the flavour.
Pour hot, spiced syrup over cherries. Seal immediately, using vinegar-proof lids. Store jars in a cool, dark place.
Pickled cherries are best stored for 6-8 weeks before eating.