Candied cherries have real flavor when made this quick and easy way.
Every year I make candied cherries for fruitcake season. The process is usually long (see this older post). The cherries are candied, and they don’t have that fake neon color that you see in store-bought candied cherries, but they still have absolutely no flavor.
So I decided to experiment a bit and came up with this much quicker process that results in a tasty candied cherry – a little bit sweet, a little bit syrupy, with a real cherry flavor.
Now I am not sure if they will stay “good” until fruitcake season. They aren’t as full of sugar as the longer process. But, I see no reason why this quicker method won’t work using frozen cherries too. So if I need to make more at a later date, I should be able to, even though the cherry season will be long over.
- 3 cups pitted, halved sweet cherries
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- additional sugar as needed
- Combine 1½ cups of sugar and the 1 cup of water in the saucepan.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes, or until it reaches the soft thread stage (232 degrees).
- Add the cherries and continue simmering gently, stirring just enough to cover the pieces with syrup.
- Cook for 50 - 60 minutes. Don't stir while cooking.
- Drain and cool slightly. Roll cherries in additional sugar.
- Let dry overnight. Store in an airtight container.
- Note: Save leftover syrup for another batch of cherries or add to iced tea or sparkling water.
Candied cherries can be used in fruitcake, in salads, to decorate tarts or fancy cakes, or eaten as snacks.