But today I am going to focus on the 11lb pail of pitted, unsweetened, fresh tart cherries I picked up yesterday. Plus the 1kg tub of dried tart cherries. I got six 3-cup containers of the fresh cherries into the freezer, set aside a cup or so for just snacking and used the remaining 2 cups to make a recipe inspired by one I came across earlier this month at Autumn Makes and Does and have been anticipating enjoying ever since.
The original recipe for Hot Cherry Preserves calls for 3 dried chile de árbo, which I don't have. It says to use cayenne if need be. So I did. I also added some of the dried cherries.
2/3 cup sugar
1/4-1tsp cayenne pepper (depending on your tolerance)
1 split vanilla bean (optional)
1/4 cup dried tart cherries
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Stir all ingredients except the dried cherries and lemon juice in a bowl or measuring cup. Taste for heat and add more cayenne if necessary. There should be more of a pleasant tingle than full on burn. Cover and store in the fridge overnight.
Place the contents of the bowl in a small saucepan with the dried cherries and boil over medium-high for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. The cherries will begin to break down a little and the liquid will become a bit thicker.
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
Let cool to room temperature and store in a clean half-pint (250ml) jar in the fridge.
Personally I think this is going to be awesome over some dark chocolate ice cream. I wonder if it would pair well with cheese?