Christmas Cookies Week is coming up and I was having a hard time getting the candied cherries I needed for a recipe. I went searching for a recipe to make them myself and found this simple one on the King Arthur Baking Company site.
All you need is a jar of maraschino cherries, sugar and some time. There is a caution at the bottom of their page that says not to leave them unattended and I concur. I worked on a dough for another recipe while I kept an eye on them simmering.
I have a candy thermometer, but if you don't you can determine soft ball stage by taking some of the syrup and dropping it into a bowl of cold water. Let it sit for a minute and if you can pick it up and roll it into a ball you're good to go.
I own a billion different cooking utensils, but not a single slotted spoon. I started out moving them with just a spatula, which was making a huge mess, and then switched to a fork. That worked much better but I'm still putting a slotted spoon on my Christmas wish list!
Another name for candied cherries is glacé, which is defined as "having a glossy surface due to preservation in sugar." To me, they look like little shiny jewels. Be sure to check back next week to see how I used these beauties!
DIY Candied Cherries
- 16-ounce jar maraschino cherries (without stems)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Drain the cherries, reserving 1/4 cup of the juice.
- In a sauce pan over medium heat combine the juice and sugar. Stir until the suger is mostly dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the cherries to the pot, and bring to a boil. Place a lid on the pot and reduce the heat until the liquid is simmering.
- Simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, and about every 10 minutes, stir the cherries gently. They should be a bit wrinkly and firm when touched with a spoon. Checking the temp should give you a reading of 235º F or soft ball stage.
- Remove the pan from the heat and take off the lid. Cool to room temperature.
- Using a slotted spoon or fork, transfer them to a parchment lined baking sheets.