Sunday, May 31, 2009

Comment Reply - Infused Cherries

The following comment was posted yesterday:

Maria-Mercedes said...

I have a question about the infused cherries. Do you serve them on their own or in alcohol? And what do you do with the left over alcohol?
I'm very interested in making some infused cherries once they come into season here in NY!

P.S.: I hope you post more recipes and canning videos! I have made your chili and pot roast and they were delightful, but I haven't been able to can your recipes yet.

Since it's difficult to view our responses to comments, I'm putting it in a new post. This comment has a couple of items for which we receive a number of e-mails so I thought I'd address it publically.

We receive a lot of e-mail at the address at I read each one and try to personally respond. All e-mails are appreciated, we get some really kind ones and the ones that have questions help us build a better site due to items where we could have provided better information. We've been thinking about posting some of the questions and responses at the blog, to help everyone.

We removed infused cherries from the alcohol and serve them in lieu of a digestive after dinner or a luncheon. The can also be removed, pitted and used in cakes. The leftover alcohol can be used in cakes or served as a digestive.

Cherries are just starting to come into season here, so they are expensive. I’ll wait until the end of June when they are at their peak and least expensive. I’m on my last two jars of infused cherries and will need to make a dozen or so one quart jars which could last me a couple of years.

My basement has been torn up for over two years with some structural work and renovation we’ve been doing on our 150 year old house. It’s a big project. We had to tear out all the basement ceilings to run new electrical wires up the the ground floor, and pipes for radiators – it has never had central heating! It’s actually a half basement with nice windows and two separate outside entrances, so we’re putting in insulation, central heating there too, three rental studios, four bathrooms a nice pantry and wine cellar.

We’ve been doing as much of the restoration as possible ourselves. So far, it’s been a four year project and we’ve got about a year to go. I designed the kitchen on the ground floor myself and will be able to can in it this year! If you’d like to see exterior photos, please visit

Due to the difficultly with storage during the construction, I haven’t been canning very much so I’m out of just about everything. We’re down to four jars of jam, so I’ll have to make several and am beginning to plan for it. I intend to make cherry jam in June, apricot and peach jams in July, blueberry and a couple of plum jams in August and finish off with fig jam in the autumn. I’ll also can some pears and figs poached in wine and perhaps put up some peaches and pears if they are good this year. I’ve still got to think about tomatoes and whole meals too.

Our canning videos were designed as instructional aides for the different types of canning processes. The notion was that if you view all the videos in sequence, you should be able to can just about everything that’s safe to can at home: the recipes change, but not the processes. So, if you want to can tomato sauce with meat in it, the process for canning is about the same as the whole meals video. Each canning recipe at is linked to the appropriate video to show the correct canning procedure. If you are a novice to canning, we recommend that you just focus on water bath canning the first year with videos 1, 2 and 3 and progress to videos 4, 5 and 6 the second and third year.

I have given a lot of thought to additional videos (if I survive this restoration project!) and believe there are some that could be eventually added; one for pickling and the second for meat confits and perhaps sausage making. For pickling, we never addressed it when we filmed the videos because the canning process is actually covered. Meat confits, or meats packed in lard, are very time consuming and diffiult; although, worth the effort. I’ve even thought about taking a whole pig and showing how to can all of it, my inspiration being from an elderly couple who do it every year.

Not to ramble, but I just returned from a two week tour of the northern lake region of Italy, plus Portofino, Lucca, Bologna and Milan. It was quite beautiful. If I ever get the opportunity to go back to the lake region, I’ll probably try to focus on Lake Como by spending one night in the city of Como and then working my way northward on the ferries visiting villas and gardens. I’d already visited Lucca a couple of times and would like to spend more time there visiting the surrounding villas as some have exceptional gardens.

The food in Italy is always good. I’d spent a month there before our restoration project began to learn how to make pastas, which would also make a super series of videos!!!


Maria-Mercedes said...

Thanks for responding to my comment! I realize you are probably incredibly busy and I appreciate that you took some time to address my questions. I just wanted to let you know that I am a huge fan of your website, blog and videos and that I have found them to be the easiest and most informative source for canning information.

I will definitely be making some infused cherries in summer!

P.S. Your house looks wonderful!

David Blackburn said...

Thanks again! I had one infused cherry after dinner in your honor last night! Yum!

About a month after you make yours, please have a taste and please let me know how you like them. I'd be interested in which alcohols you use. I'm going to make some in Grand Marnier or Cointreau (my favorite), some in Bourbon and the classic Armanac or Cognac.

Loosie Goosie said...


I wanted to say Thank you for your wonderful recipes, I have made the cherry pie recipes for canning, delightful!

I had a hard time finding clear Jel but found it Alberta, we live in BC Canada. I have tried cherry pie filling with minute tapioca and the clear jel is clearly the winner! no pun inteaded.

I think your site is wonderful, I have been canning and jamming and I am always searching for more great ideas.

My next canning job will be apricots and this year I'm going to make apricot pie filling if I find a recipe that is, going back to the other site to see if you have any!

Thanks again!