Homemade Glacé Cherries

Homemade Glacé Cherries
If there is one member of the household who is thrilled that our kitchen is constantly filled these days with blackberries, damsons, crab apples and cherries it’s Wesley. I have spoken before about his obsession with pears but his fruit addiction is now getting out of control. I can’t turn my back on a bowl of freshly picked fruit without piquing his interest and five minutes later finding him batting them all over the kitchen floor.

Wesley and the cherriesYesterday, after a bounteous yield of crab apples was happily soaking up the sun streaming in from the window, I was called into the kitchen by the sound of an energetic animal bouncing something around on the tiles which never spells goods news. I walked in to find Billy Buddy enthusiastically chasing round a poor crab apple. How did he get hold of that, there’s no way the puppy can get anywhere near our kitchen counter? I looked round the corner to see Wesley looking on forlornly as his hard worn apple had been rudely swiped by the puppy. He learnt the hard way that it’s not nice when someone else steals your fruit.

Glace Cherries | Stroud Green Larder Unfortunately for Wesley his fruit supply is about to be cut short. From this week all furry little creatures are being banned from any food preparation areas, which is a sad little side effect of now opening my kitchen up as a business. I will feel very nostalgic for the days when my steadfast kitchen companion is fast asleep stretched across the full length of my counter as I’m in full on baking mode, flour and sugar flying across him blissfully unaware. I will especially miss the times when I am chopping onions in his vicinity and his eyes start blinking, full of confusion as to why they are now pouring with water. I am ashamed to say this is something that will never fail to make me laugh, as well as the time that he pounced up on the side as I was juicing some lemons. A cat with lemon juice in his eye produces a very sour look.

Glace Cherries | Stroud Green Larder

Glace Cherries | Stroud Green Larder

Thank goodness then that I just about managed to ward Wesley off these glacé cherries during the entire length of this candying process. These cherries, like Monday’s salt beef have been a bit of a labour of love. I started them weeks ago and only now are they finally ready to be presented to the world, having ascended from a lovely healthy fruit to pretty much just sugar.

I have been really keen to make glacé cherries for some time now as I always thought the cherriness of the commercially made versions was somehow lost in the candying. These homemade glacé cherries are a world away from anything you might have had before, they don’t have the brilliant postbox red colour but instead command an alluring burgundy. Their texture is also much more dense and fudgey; I can imagine them being the secret ingredient of the world’s best brownie.

Glace Cherries | Stroud Green Larder

However, next time I will probably amp up the amount I make. I would love to include them in recipes like Mary Berry’s Cherry Cake which featured on The Great British Bake Off last week but I couldn’t bear to lose my precious gems all at once amongst such a big cake. At the moment I am sequestering them away from snack venturing fingers to be saved for only the most reverential of cocktails, the most exquisite of cupcakes and to adorn only the most luxurious trifle. Although I think I am being too precious about them, the last thing I want is to save them and save them until they are spoilt and no longer as prizeworthy as they currently are. One thing I know for certain, they are nowhere near any sneaky little cream coloured paws.

Glace Cherries | Stroud Green Larder

Print Recipe
Homemade Glacé Cherries
A luxurious cherry for all your baking needs, recipe from The Cook's Scrapbook by Reader's Digest
Homemade Glacé Cherries
Prep Time 15 minutes each day
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
1
Ingredients
  • 450 g cherries stalks removed and stoned
  • 570 ml boiling water
  • 750 g granulated sugar
Prep Time 15 minutes each day
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
1
Ingredients
  • 450 g cherries stalks removed and stoned
  • 570 ml boiling water
  • 750 g granulated sugar
Homemade Glacé Cherries
Instructions
Day 1
  1. Place the cherries in a large pan with the boiling water and cook until the fruit is just tender.
  2. Drain the cherries but reserve 425ml of the liquid. Put the cherries into a heatproof bowl.
  3. Pour the liquid back into the saucepan with 250g of the sugar. Stir over a gentle heat to dissolve the sugar and bring to a boil.
  4. Turn off the heat and pour the syrup over the cherries.
  5. Cover the bowl and leave to soak for 24 hours.
Day 2
  1. Strain the syrup into a large saucepan and return the fruit to the bowl.
  2. Add 60g of sugar to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for a couple of minutes making sure the sugar has completely dissolved.
  3. Pour the syrup back over the cherries, cover and leave for another 24 hours.
Day 3-7
  1. Repeat Day 2
Day 8
  1. Times are a-changing. Strain the syrup into a large saucepan but this time add 85g of the sugar into the saucepan.
  2. Cook over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved then add the cherries and bring to a boil.
  3. Turn down to a simmer for 3 minutes, then pour the fruit and syrup back into the heatproof bowl, cover and leave to stand for 2 days.
Day 10
  1. Repeat Day 8, but only add the remaining 55g sugar and then leaving for 4 days.
Day 14
  1. The syrup should have now turned very thick and heavy, if not, repeat Day 10. Otherwise, drain the fruit, place on a wire rack and leave in a warm dry place until no longer sticky. They should be ready after a couple of days.
Homemade Glacé Cherries

Comments

  1. Well…it’s definitely a labour of love, but a wonderful result. Mine were more of a red colour, but then so were my cherries (harvested a little early due to persistent interest from the local feathery family of blackbirds!). I saved the bright red, gloopy syrup to be added to lemonade (or, more likely, a cocktail!).
    Thank you for sharing this recipe with us.

    • Georgina says:

      That’s my pleasure. I agree it is a labour of love but sometimes it’s nice to have a little cooking project on the go that you can tend to for a few short minutes everyday. I’m glad the end result was worth it!

  2. PhysalisFranchetti says:

    Hi,
    My cherries ended up a burgundy red colour, just like yours. Before the last 55g of suger, the cherries were coated in a very thick syrup, but the last quantity made lots of the sugar crystallise out.
    I too was wondering what to do with the syrup/sugar mixture – a cocktail sounds just the ticket.
    Thank you for posting the recipe. There will be no glucose-fructose syrup or sulphur dioxide in our Xmas cake this year! 🙂

    • I’m glad the recipe worked out well for you, thank you for your comments. It’s also worth noting that these cherries don’t keep as long as the commercially made ones – I have found they need to be used within about 6 weeks.

  3. Thank you for the recipe. I will use my cherries to make cherry liqueur chocolates. I will soak them in liqueur then dip them in pink fondant and finally coat them with chocolate.

    Wow Im going to be busy for the next couple of weeks..

    I will let you know how they turn out. Again thank you for your recipe.

    kind regards Dominique

  4. Thankyou for this recipe I was wondering how long do the cherries last for in an airtight container as I want to make them to put in my Christmas cakes.

    • They unfortunately don’t last as long as you expect – I find you can keep them for about 6 weeks so you need to make the most of them while you can.

  5. The recipe worked well, have lovely deeply coloured cherries at day 11. I am wondering if I can use a dehydrator to dry them out once I get to day 14

    • Hi Helen, that’s brilliant – I’m glad they are looking so promising. I have to admit that I have never used a dehydrator so I don’t know what the results would be. I would be really keen to know though as that could be interesting. Let me know if you try it out.

  6. PhysalisFranchetti says:

    Hi again Georgina,

    I made mine in August and they easily made it to Christmas – so 5 months, and what I have left I don’t think is going to go mouldy. I make my own candied peel as well, and that has lasted in the past as long as upto a year and a half before being eaten. What I do is let the glace cherries / candied peel dry naturally (after having gone through the recipe so after day 14) at room temperature over a week or two weeks (in a not switched on oven – it’s a sterile environment – or covered loosely with cling film when not in the oven) and then put it in sterlised (put the jars in cold into the oven and heated at 150 degrees centigrade for 5 minutes) air tight jars (I use le Parfait 1/2 litre ones). My Christmas cake was the best ever, and I made Stollen yesterday using more of these cherries – so Thank you again for posting this recipe! 🙂
    The only thing I want to think about more is the variety of cherries I used. I used “cherries” from a local farm shop and I wonder if Morello cherries would give a more intense burst of cherry flavour when preserved, which you get from homemade candied peel (you get an orange or lemon or grapefruit or lime burst, especially if I used organic fruit), but maybe the sour Morello cherries are not what you want in a Christmas cake? Do you know if there is a preferred variety of cherries for preserving as glace cherries?

    • That’s a great tip and good to know if you treat them right the cherries do last longer. Do you know I bet that sour morello cherries would be good in a christmas cake as it would add a little bit of an edge to all the sweetness sweet cake. I don’t think that there is a specific cherry which is used for traditional glace cherries. Recipes for French glace cherries recommend a firm dark red cherry and recipes for maraschino cherries require a sweeter lighter coloured cherry. I guess back in the day whatever local cherry to hand would be used.

  7. your print button doesn’t work for this recipe 🙁 I’ve been looking for a glace cherries recipe for ages and this looks (and from the comments, obviously is) wonderful! thanks in advance!

    • Georgina says:

      Hi Erin, sorry about that. I’ll hopefully have it fixed soon! Let me know how your glace cherries work out. Thank you!

  8. We have a Morello cherry tree and my daughter has made glace cherries with its fruit several times now. I didn’t notice the cherries tasting particularly tart but they did taste much less sugary than commercially bought ones. But I can’t compare them with home-made from sweet cherries as she never tried that. We kept them in the final syrup in an airtight box in the fridge and they easily lasted from August till Christmas – and beyond. Only downside was the room they took up in the fridge.
    This year I really need to pick the last cherries but I’m going away so won’t be able to do the whole 14 day process from beginning to end. So I’m thinking of pitting the cherries then freezing them, then doing the glace process later in the year. Will be interesting to see if that works…

    • Keeping the cherries in the fridge is an excellent idea – but you are right about storage space, I always have a mini celebration every time I finish up a jar of preserves from the fridge. However the amount of jars in my fridge never depletes as I’m always opening more. Let me know how the glace cherries go from your frozen stash!

  9. Greg Peake says:

    Good morning Georgina
    I have just come across your recipe and have a question. I normally use unrefined brown sugar from non gm cane for baking. Would this be suitable or would the molasses content be a problem? Regards. Greg.

    • Hi Greg. To be honest I’m not sure what the difference would be using brown sugar. It will have more moisture but I can’t see that being a problem. The only issue I can envisage is the colour not being as red, it might go more brown. I haven’t tested the recipe using brown sugar so do let me know if you give it a try.

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  1. […] recipe in our December notes as it would make a fantastic lighter Christmas cake if you include homemade glacé cherries and nuts.  On the subject of which, if you’re foraging around at the back of the […]

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Homemade Glacé Cherries

These Homemade Glacé Cherries are a labour of love but once you taste the difference between these and the pillar box red variety you can get in the supermarket then you won’t look back.

Homemade Glacé Cherries

If there is one member of the household who is thrilled that our kitchen is constantly filled these days with blackberries, damsons, crab apples and cherries it’s Wesley. I have spoken before about his obsession with pears but his fruit addiction is now getting out of control. I can’t turn my back on a bowl of freshly picked fruit without piquing his interest and five minutes later finding him batting them all over the kitchen floor.

Wesley and the cherries

Yesterday, after a bounteous yield of crab apples was happily soaking up the sun streaming in from the window, I was called into the kitchen by the sound of an energetic animal bouncing something around on the tiles which never spells goods news. I walked in to find Billy Buddy enthusiastically chasing round a poor crab apple. How did he get hold of that, there’s no way the puppy can get anywhere near our kitchen counter? I looked round the corner to see Wesley looking on forlornly as his hard worn apple had been rudely swiped by the puppy. He learnt the hard way that it’s not nice when someone else steals your fruit.

Homemade Glacé Cherries

Unfortunately for Wesley his fruit supply is about to be cut short. From this week all furry little creatures are being banned from any food preparation areas, which is a sad little side effect of now opening my kitchen up as a business. I will feel very nostalgic for the days when my steadfast kitchen companion is fast asleep stretched across the full length of my counter as I’m in full on baking mode, flour and sugar flying across him blissfully unaware. I will especially miss the times when I am chopping onions in his vicinity and his eyes start blinking, full of confusion as to why they are now pouring with water. I am ashamed to say this is something that will never fail to make me laugh, as well as the time that he pounced up on the side as I was juicing some lemons. A cat with lemon juice in his eye produces a very sour look.

Homemade Glacé Cherries

Thank goodness then that I just about managed to ward Wesley off these glacé cherries during the entire length of this candying process. These cherries, like Monday’s salt beef have been a bit of a labour of love. I started them weeks ago and only now are they finally ready to be presented to the world, having ascended from a lovely healthy fruit to pretty much just sugar.

Homemade Glacé Cherries

I have been really keen to make glacé cherries for some time now as I always thought the cherriness of the commercially made versions was somehow lost in the candying. These homemade glacé cherries are a world away from anything you might have had before, they don’t have the brilliant postbox red colour but instead command an alluring burgundy. Their texture is also much more dense and fudgey; I can imagine them being the secret ingredient of the world’s best brownie.

Homemade Glacé Cherries

However, next time I will probably amp up the amount I make. I would love to include them in recipes like Mary Berry’s Cherry Cake which featured on The Great British Bake Off last week but I couldn’t bear to lose my precious gems all at once amongst such a big cake. At the moment I am sequestering them away from snack venturing fingers to be saved for only the most reverential of cocktails, the most exquisite of cupcakes and to adorn only the most luxurious trifle. Although I think I am being too precious about them, the last thing I want is to save them and save them until they are spoilt and no longer as prizeworthy as they currently are. One thing I know for certain, they are nowhere near any sneaky little cream coloured paws.Homemade Glacé Cherries

Print Recipe
Homemade Glacé Cherries
A luxurious cherry for all your baking needs, recipe from The Cook's Scrapbook by Reader's Digest
Homemade Glacé Cherries
Prep Time 15 minutes each day
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
1
Ingredients
  • 450 g cherries stalks removed and stoned
  • 570 ml boiling water
  • 750 g granulated sugar
Prep Time 15 minutes each day
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
1
Ingredients
  • 450 g cherries stalks removed and stoned
  • 570 ml boiling water
  • 750 g granulated sugar
Homemade Glacé Cherries
Instructions
Day 1
  1. Place the cherries in a large pan with the boiling water and cook until the fruit is just tender.
  2. Drain the cherries but reserve 425ml of the liquid. Put the cherries into a heatproof bowl.
  3. Pour the liquid back into the saucepan with 250g of the sugar. Stir over a gentle heat to dissolve the sugar and bring to a boil.
  4. Turn off the heat and pour the syrup over the cherries.
  5. Cover the bowl and leave to soak for 24 hours.
Day 2
  1. Strain the syrup into a large saucepan and return the fruit to the bowl.
  2. Add 60g of sugar to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for a couple of minutes making sure the sugar has completely dissolved.
  3. Pour the syrup back over the cherries, cover and leave for another 24 hours.
Day 3-7
  1. Repeat Day 2
Day 8
  1. Times are a-changing. Strain the syrup into a large saucepan but this time add 85g of the sugar into the saucepan.
  2. Cook over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved then add the cherries and bring to a boil.
  3. Turn down to a simmer for 3 minutes, then pour the fruit and syrup back into the heatproof bowl, cover and leave to stand for 2 days.
Day 10
  1. Repeat Day 8, but only add the remaining 55g sugar and then leaving for 4 days.
Day 14
  1. The syrup should have now turned very thick and heavy, if not, repeat Day 10. Otherwise, drain the fruit, place on a wire rack and leave in a warm dry place until no longer sticky. They should be ready after a couple of days.

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