pickled cherries

Cherry Bombs

Cherry Bombs are cherries that are pickled in a sweet and spicy brine. There are many variations of this dish. The brine can be thin (like pickle juice) or thick like syrup. The cherries can be pitted or left whole with the stems. The extra acid can come from lemon juice, wine, or vinegars (like apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, or white wine vinegar).
In this version of the recipe, the heat is coming from habaneros.

The Cherry Bombs are excellent with cheese trays, cocktails, and desserts (especially if you are using the syrupy version).
See details about growing cherries or habaneros.


Makes 3-4 pint jars

1 pound Bing Cherries (about 3 cups of cherries)
3/4 cup Vinegar (apple, red wine, or wine)
3/4 cup Sweet Wine (Gewurtztraminer)
3/4 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
1 Strips Orange Zest (removed with a vegetable peeler)
1 Cinnamon Stick

The Heat (3 habaneros; one for each jar)
The Savory:
½ tablespoon Coriander Seeds
½ teaspoon Black Peppercorns
1 Bay Leaf


Prick each cherry with a fork several times and put them in a nonreactive jar or container.
Make the brine: Mix the vinegar, sugar, salt, orange zest, cinnamon sticks, and either the Heat (3 habaneros) or the Savory (peppercorns, coriander seeds, and bay leaf) in a nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the liquid simmers, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
Place one habanero in each jar. Pour the liquid over the cherries (they should be completely submerged). When the concoction is completely cool, seal or cover the cherries, and refrigerate for up to 2 month.
Alternatively you can preserve them in a hot-water bath. This will keep them fresh for Holiday gifts.

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This is a recipe copied from Chef Alice Waters served at Chez Panisse