Friday, July 10, 2009

Peter Hoffman's Pomegranate Molasses Sour Cherries

It's not summer without Peter Hoffman's preserved sour cherries. I've been making this recipe for years, slightly varying the ratio of sweet to sour each time. With my apologies to Chef Hoffman, this riff on the homemade maraschino cherries he makes at Savoy is my favorite yet.

3 1-quart canning jars with "shoulders"
2 quarts sour cherries with the stems
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups white wine
1 cup pomegranate molasses
2 tsp. black peppercorns
1 tsp. whole allspice
zest of 1/2 lemon

1. Rinse cherries, reserving bruised or split cherries for another use. Leave stems intact.
2. Prepare jars by running through a hot cycle in the dishwasher.
3. Bring sugar, wine, water, molasses, and spices to a brief boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and molasses into a viscous syrup.
4. Allow jars to cool, then pack tightly with cherries, tapping down to fill jars with as many as possible.
5. When syrup is cooled, cover cherries by 1/2 inch and seal jars. Refrigerate for up to one year.