Two of the neighbors have a lot of cherries on their trees and so we made our own version of Maraschino cherries this week. I had to make my own version because at Safeway the almond extract even imitation was $4.99 which was too much. I mixed vanilla extract/syrup with marshmallow vodka to substitute and i think it turned out great!
I don’t like getting too many contraptions for the kitchen but this cherry pitter is awesome and I don’t know why I didn’t get one sooner. Since the cost of the cherries was $4 total since we only bought a tiny amount and stole the rest, I feel the new toy is justified.
- Pinch of canning salt
- 2 quarts water
- 4-1/2 pounds pitted sweet cherries
- 4-1/2 pounds sugar
- 3 cups water
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 ounce red food coloring
- 1/4 cup ground almonds
- 1 oz. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup marshmallow vodka
Bring water to a boil, add salt and stir. Let cool for 10 minutes, then pour over pitted sweet cherries. Cover and let sit overnight.
Drain cherries, discarding brine, and rinse in cold water. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, lemon juice, and red food coloring. Add the reserved juice and bring just to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar, and remove from heat.
Remove from heat and stir in almonds, vodka and vanilla extract.
Let sit overnight then strain and bring to a boil almost.
Wait till it cools a little and pour over the cherries in the jar/s.
Place in a water bath canner and process 20 minutes for pint jars or 25 minutes for quart jars.