I adore giving food as gifts. Too many of us have too much “stuff” as it is, but something yummy and homemade? That always goes over well. I try to do something different each year, though I have my favorites. This year, I decided to go seasonal in my colors. Instead of my usual chocolate via Homemade Truffles or Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn, I found a great way to incorporate red by making a cherry syrup.
No one has to know that this syrup takes under an hour to pull together start to finish. No one needs to know that I sneak an extra jar or two for myself. Instead, all they see is a gorgeous jar filled with something they most likely would never make themselves. Part of what makes it perfect is how versatile the syrup is. Because it isn’t super thick, it’s not just great to use as a topping for pancakes or waffles. As yummy as it is over ice cream, there is still a better use for it in my oh so humble opinion.
Pair a jar of this with a little bottle of champagne for someone special in your life, and you have a friend forever. The syrup pairs perfectly to make a cherry bellini. Just place an inch or so in the bottom of your flute and top with champagne.
Or if your friend or family don’t drink, this is great in seltzer or sparkling water to make your own cherry soda. You could even add it to Coke to make a homemade cherry Coke. If you were so inclined…
A single recipe makes about four cups of the syrup, but it doubles or more easily if you’re making a bunch of it for teacher gifts or as hostess gifts. Because this isn’t truly canned, you do need to keep it in the fridge, but if you substitute pectin for the cornstarch, you could easily can it if you were so inclined.
Watching the cherries go from what I pulled from the freezer to a beautiful dark mass slowly bubbling and turning into what I knew was going to be an amazing treat made me smile.
I did mention that this was completely low maintenance and quick to make, right?
Easy homemade cherry syrup; perfect for serving over ice cream, in cokes, with champagne
- 4 c cherries (frozen work great, especially if you can get a blend of types)
- 3/4 c sugar
- 1/2 t cinnamon
- 1/8 t fresh ground nutmeg
- 1/2 t salt
- 2 T cornstarch
- 1 c water
- Be sure your cherries are pitted. If you're using frozen ones, you should be good to go.
- Add cherries, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and water to a heavy saucepan and turn the heat to medium. As the sugar dissolves, stir gently to ensure it's all combined.
- Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for 20 minutes until reduced somewhat.
- Make a slurry with the cornstarch and a little cold water, using a fork to combine and ensure there are no lumps. Add the slurry to your syrup and stir again to incorporate. Cook another five or so minutes until the syrup is thickened a bit, just so that it coats a spoon instead of sliding straight off.
- I have no desire or interest in mashing the cherries that remain in the syrup or in straining them out. I find they add a marvelous texture and flavor, and I don’t want to lose that. The fact that it saves me a step or two? That’s just a bonus.
- Pour immediately into clean jars and seal. Once they've cooled, place them in your fridge. You can store them in the fridge for a few weeks, but I don't expect that they'll last any longer at your house than they did at mine.
Thanks, Michelle! Love this! My kids love cherry limeades, and I love ice cream with cherry sauce – so this is a total win! If y’all haven’t met Michelle yet, y’all should start with her Brownie Cupcakes and go from there.
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