Deliciously preserved: pickled cherries

Pickled fruits can be added to sweet or savoury dishes alike. In desserts, they take the sweet edge off a dish; in savouries, you get the sweetness from the fruit and sharpness from the vinegar. Fruit pickles generally don’t keep as well as vegetable ones, so store in the fridge to preserve them better.

Laura Edwards

Makes a 500ml jar

250ml cider vinegar
100ml filtered water
150g white or golden granulated sugar
Pinch of sea salt
1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 cardamom pods, gently smashed
300g cherries, stoned
3 strips of pared orange zest

  1. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and spices in a large non-reactive pan. Place over a medium heat, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve and the spices infuse. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then allow the brine to cool.
  2. Pack your cherries, along with the orange zest, into appropriately sized, clean or sterilised, cool jars (see here). Try to fit in as much as possible without squashing or forcing too tightly, leaving a gap of about 1cm from the top rim.
  3. Pour the brine over the fruit. Gently tap out any trapped bubbles, or use a chopstick to manoeuvre the bubbles out, making sure you get out as many as you can (this trapped air can encourage fermentation). Top up with brine again so the cherries are entirely covered, up to 2mm-3mm from the top, and seal with a sterilised dry lid.
  4. Store unopened in a cool, dark place for about 3-4 weeks before opening. Once opened, store in the fridge for 3-18 months.

Now buy the book

The Modern Preserver’s Kitchen
Our recipes are from The Modern Preserver’s Kitchen by Kylee Newton, which will be published on 30 September by Quadrille, price £22. To preorder a copy for £18.70 until 3 October, go to or call 020 3308 9193. Free UK delivery on orders over £20.