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Candied Cherries are a great way to preserve the abundance of summer cherries! Super easy to make and great as a topping on ice cream, cakes, pies and even pancakes and waffles!
This post was originally published in August 2018. It has been revised for content and photos.
When cherries are on sale for $1.99 a pound, it’s time to buy ALL the cherries. But when you buy all the cherries, you have to use them all too.
Enter these super awesome candied cherries. I mean, these babies are good on everything….ice cream, cakes, pies, BROWNIES, pancakes, waffles….all the stuff!
And as if the cherries aren’t amazing enough, the cherry syrup that results as part of the candying process is SO GOOD. Use it to flavor drinks, or again, just use it on any of the above. This stuff is like cherry colored gold.
I spent a good amount of time Saturday morning just pitting cherries. No, I don’t have a cherry pitter. I basically cut the cherry in half around the pit, pop it in half, and dig the seed out. Is that the most efficient way? Prob not.
For some good tips on pitting cherries, check out this post from The Kitchn on how to pit a cherry without a cherry pitter.
These candied Cherries are amazing when used on top of this decadently delicious Almond Tart.
What is a Candied Cherry?
A candied cherry is a cherry simmered in sugar water/syrup until all the natural moisture in the cherry is replaced by the syrup. This results in a very sweet “candied” cherry.
Are Maraschino Cherries and Candied Cherries the Same Thing?
Yes and no. Maraschino cherries are a type of cherry from the Croatia region that are typically preserved in a liqueur made from the cherries. Candied cherries are cherries that have been simmered in syrup until all the natural moisture has been replaced by syrup. Maraschino cherries can be candied like any other cherry, and are called glace cherries when candied.
Why This Candied Cherries Recipe Works
- The cherries are pitted first so they are easy to use after candying.
- The cherries are simmered on low heat for an extended amount of time until all the moisture is replaced with the syrup.
How to Make Candied Cherries
You won’t even believe how easy this is. You guys are going to be candying cherries for DAYS this is so easy!
This recipe calls for just 2 cups of fresh pitted cherries, which results in about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of candied cherries. This recipe can be easily doubled, tripled quadrupled…whatever your heart desires.
You want to start with pitted cherries. Forgot how? Check out this post on How to Pit Cherries from The Kitchn. Don’t worry, you don’t need a cherry pitter.
Place your pitted cherries in a saucepan with the sugar, water and lemon juice. Then bring it to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. A simmer is typically on low to medium low heat.
Simmer on low/medium low for about 75 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Honestly, I usually set my timer to 15 minute increments just to remind me to stir. It’s more important to stir near the end when much of the liquid has absorbed. This is when burning is most possible.
Remove the cherries from the heat and let cool. Try to stop eating them. If you can stop, they should be stored in a sealable jar in the fridge for up to one year.
- Be sure to stir the cherries every 15 minutes while simmering to ensure they don’t burn.
- Store the cherries and the syrup separately if you’d like to use them for different purposes.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Do candied cherries need to be refrigerated? Some say no, they can be stored on the shelf for up to a year. However, to be safe I always store mine in the fridge for up to one year.
- Can candied cherries be frozen? I don’t recommend freezing candied cherries. They last long enough in the fridge that you shouldn’t need to freeze them. Freezing them can cause the sugar to crystallize.
- What can I do with candied cherries? They can be eaten like candy, or used on ice cream, cakes, pies, waffles, pancakes, brownies, etc. The syrup can also be used in place of other syrups, in drinks, or as a dessert topping.
Rate the recipe and leave a comment to let me know how it turned out!
Did you make these Candied Cherries? Follow me on Instagram, post a photo and tag @wenthere8this or #wenthere8this. I love to see what you’re making!
- 2 cups pitted cherries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- Combine all the ingredients in a 2 quart sauce pan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 75 minutes, stirring periodically to make sure they don't burn.
- Remove from heat and let cool. Store the cherries and the syrup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one year.
- Be sure to stir the cherries every 15 minutes while simmering to ensure they don't burn.
- Store the cherries and the syrup separately if you'd like to use them for different purposes.