Pickled Cherries Recipe

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 Photo from Adobe Stock/fabiomax

Sweet pickled cherries are such a treat to have stashed in your pantry. This recipe is nice and easy because you don’t even have to pit the cherries!

Try to let these pickles sit for a season or two before you eat them – they get so much better over time, and are amazing with cheese and wine, in cocktails, or sliced through salads.

Once you’ve eaten all your pickled cherries, don’t throw your syrup away! It’s great drizzled over fruit with mascarpone, over cakes, or you can reduce it down further and use it as a syrup in soda water or in marinades.

PREPARATION TIME: 20 minutes, plus 20 minutes sterilising
STORAGE: up to 1 1/2 years
MAKES: 2-3 x 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cup) jars


  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) red wine vinegar
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) water
  • 250 g (9 oz) raw sugar
  • 8-12 cloves
  • 4-6 star anise
  • 1-1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1 kg (2 lb, 4 oz) cherries


  1. Make your brine by combining the vinegar, water and sugar in a non-reactive, medium-sized saucepan.
  2. Place over low heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to simmering point, then turn off the heat.
  3. Sterilise your jars and lids.
  4. When the jars are cool enough to handle, place 4 cloves, 2 star anise and 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns in the bottom of each jar. Pack the cherries firmly into the hot jars, leaving about 1 cm (1/2 inch) space at the top.
  5. Bring your brine back up to the boil, then pour the hot brine over the cherries, making sure they are completely submerged. You may need to pack in more cherries once they’ve softened in the hot brine. The more tightly packed the jars are, the less chance there is of the cherries floating and not preserving properly.
  6. Remove any air bubbles by gently tapping each jar on the work surface and sliding a clean butter knife or chopstick around the inside to release any hidden air pockets. Wipe the rims of the jars with paper towel or a clean damp cloth and seal.
  7. Heat-process for 15 minutes, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 18 months.
  8. Once opened, refrigerate and use within 6 months.

Also from Cornersmith: Salads and Pickles: Vegetables with More Taste and Less Waste:

Preserving, using up and seasonal eating is the Cornersmith way. Since opening their neighbourhood café in Sydney in 2011, Alex Elliott-Howery and Sabine Spindler have been committed to sustainability. Their recipes put veggies first with dishes such as black bean and spring slaw tortillas. Quick recipes include roasted sweet potato and parsnip topped with feta and walnuts, or make a tabbouleh with leftover veg ahead of time for an autumnal evening. Cornersmith reinvents everyday sides with pickled veg which can be stored for up to six months. In Cornersmith: Salads & Pickles, Alex and Sabine share their passion for cooking with minimal waste. In four chapters, each dedicated to a season, Cornersmith shows us the best way to use seasonal produce, before rounding off with three salad dressing, fermenting and pickling guides and innovative ways to use kitchen scraps, such as using fruit peel to flavour oils. These recipes aren’t about dieting, instead Cornersmith is a must have for anyone interested in the food waste management trend, providing a road map for the future of food.

Reprinted with permission from Cornersmith: Salads and Pickles: Vegetables with More Taste and Less Waste by Alex Elliott-Howery and Sabine Spindler and published by Murdoch Books, 2017.