Whole cherries in coconut syrup.

Last year, I made whole canned cherries in a light almond syrup. This year, I knew I wanted to do something different, but I didn’t know what. Enter: coconut.

Cherries in coconut syrup.

I heard from my dad about a coconut, cherry and pistachio cake (because he wanted me to make it, natch) and I thought maybe I could use coconut in the canned cherries to spice things up a little bit. Plus I figured, I have enough cherries to experiment and play around… and if it doesn’t work out, whats the worst that can happen?

So I made just two pints of this experimental blend. And it turned out pretty sweet!

Canned cherries in coconut syrup.

I used real coconut, but I suppose if you aren’t thrilled with the slightly cloudy look of the syrup, you can use coconut extract.

I actually cracked one of these bad boys open fairly quickly. I served it over ricotta mixed with a little sugar, with a sprig of fresh mint. A simple, gorgeous summery dessert.

Cherries in coconut syrup, served over a sweetened ricotta with fresh mint.

It won’t be for everyone, I’m sure, but it’s definitely unique.

Same goes for me.

Canned cherries in coconut syrup, served with sugary ricotta and fresh mint.

CHERRIES IN COCONUT SYRUP

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. sweet cherries
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups flaked coconut

Directions:

  1. Sterilize your jars. Keep them warm/hot.
  2. Wash and pit your cherries. I have a cherry pitter, which makes life infinitely easier- but it still takes time. Also: wear black.
  3. Combine water, sugar and coconut in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Drain the coconut out, and pour the liquid carefully back into the saucepan. Keep hot while you finish pitting and/or prepping your jars. Yes, it will be slightly cloudy. That’s the coconut.
  4. Fill the jars right up to the shoulders with cherries. Push ’em in as much as you can but don’t go too crazy trying to cram them in. This might require more or less jars, so be prepared.
  5. Pour the hot liquid over the cherries in each jar, slowly and carefully, to leave 1/2″ headspace. Wipe rims, place lids and put bands on to fingertip tight. Process in a water bath for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from water and wait 24 hours before checking lids. If any didn’t seal, use right away (or put in the fridge).

Canned cherries in coconut syrup.

As far as the ricotta goes, just mix some sugar into fresh ricotta (I like Galbani for desserts because it’s very smooth with small “curds”). Go little by little and taste as you go. Stop when it’s sweet enough. Then just serve as shown. Easy!

Canned cherries in coconut syrup.

  Suggestions for use: serve over ice cream, yogurt, pound cake, with whipped cream, as a cake filling, in parfaits, or eat right out of the jar.
Soundtrack: Indy snoring, again.
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