Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sour Cherry Syrup


After toting the recipe around for ages, last summer I finally made Food & Wine's blueberry syrup. It was one of those recipes I loved the idea of, but never got around to trying. I'd flip past it in my recipe binder and wonder just what would I do with all that blueberry liquid?

We enjoyed it all winter long, and I am so happy I took the syrupy plunge! Swirled over yogurt, in smoothies, with ice cream, as a substitute to maple syrup in salad dressings and glazes,  over pancakes...the list goes on. I will make more every summer.  

When sour cherries arrived for a second straight week, I knew I had to find a way to use them up in mass. A little online research and these sour cherries had met their match: The New York Times recipe for Sour Cherry Syrup. I edited it to include agave nectar, a healthier alternative to granulated sugar. 

In the 24 hours since it was concocted, this syrup has been added to my morning granola and turned into an old fashioned cherry soda. The consistency is thinner than the blueberry syrup, but the uses still apply.  The left over cherries, soaking in extra syrup, are certain to be enjoyed with ice cream or by the spoonful for a quick sweet treat in weeks to come. 

Sour Cherry Syrup 
  • 1 1/4- cups agave nectar
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 cups washed and de-stemmed cherries 
  • Bring water, lemon juice and agave nectar to a boil.
  • Wrap the cherries in cheese cloth, or if you have a large dense strainer add them in freely
  • Simmer for 25 minutes, keeping a low roll on the berries.
  • If in cheesecloth, remove the cherry bunch letting all syrup drip through. If using a strainer, separate the liquid from the fruit.  
  • Let cool, and store the syrup in clean glass jars or bottles.
  • "If desired", store remaining cherries in glass jar covered with syrup.

About Sour Cherries 
The tart cousin to the favored Bing cherry has a very short local season and is highly perishable. Pitting is quite easy as the cherries "are so soft (so) you can easily push the pit out with your fingers.

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