How to Make Candied Cherries
Hey guys! So I'm throwing this out there in case anyone ends up in my position during the fury of holiday baking season. And by "my position" I mean feeling the desperate pull to make one of those glorious holiday recipes that call for kitschy little candied cherries, but it's the only dang ingredient you don't have, and you'd rather sew your head to the carpet than get back into the car and head out to the store with all those holiday crazies one more time. I give you How to Make Candied Cherries.
Now, to be fair, this tip will only save you if you already have a jar of maraschino cherries rolling around in your fridge. But since maraschino cherries can outlive all of us, even Cher, perhaps you have some left over from a hankering for ice cream sundaes, Shirley Temples, or a love affair with Manhattans (ooh, call me sometime). But hey, even if you don't have a jar, maybe you'll pick one up, because really, what's better than getting two uses from one crazy, hypercolored food product? Also, not to sound like Andy Rooney or anything, but have you noticed how expensive a thing of ready-made candied cherries is these days?! And half of it will probably just go to waste!
Now where's my cane and crossword puzzle?
This is a full recipe that will yield about 8-9 ounces of candied cherries. It's easily scaled up or down, even if you just need a tiny amount for a recipe.
Makes about 1 cup (8 to 9 ounces)
1 16-ounce jar maraschino cherries
3/4 cup sugar
Drain the cherries, reserving 1/4 cup of the juice. Combine the reserved juice and sugar in a small saucepan and place over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Add the cherries, and stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes-1 hour, until the cherries are slightly shriveled and firm to the touch. Remove from the heat, uncover the pan, and let cool completely.
When the cherries have cooled, remove them to paper toweling (leaving the syrup behind, your recipe doesn't call for it) and pat dry. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to six months.