Many summertime seasons have had me tumbling pints of pitted cherries into a cinnamon or vanilla-scented syrup to arrive at something between very loose preserves and a confection-styled concoction to lift out onto fresh ricotta cheese, slices of vanilla pound cake, plain yogurt, or stirred pudding.
Bring it on: Cherries, a summer confit. (The word “confit” is used with a degree of latitude here.)
Finally, after years and years (seven, to be precise) of simmering these crimson things that appear for far too short a time (adore, adore cherries), I have landed a recipe (or, what is more important, technique) for suspending the cherries in a syrup worthy of eating spoonful by spoonful. (The finished formula makes use of refrigerator storage, not the canning process.) The cherries are so good that the brief time span of availability propelled me to think about a more conscientious preserving program. As a result, my hand-held cherry pitter has been receiving a good workout.
This treatment is a a riff on a method I learned long ago from my late mother–she did the same with dried fruit and my paternal grandmother worked with damson plums in this way, too. We were a canning and preserving family, though my projects are more short-term now and make use of refrigerator storage. When the seasons change, I’m onto another item to turn jewel-like.
For now, these are indulgent cherries to love.