Amaretto Cherries

At the risk of receiving hate mail and nasty comments, let me be honest with you for a moment. I really don’t enjoy summer. I am not a hot weather girl, and I prefer to stay cool in the shade. I am much happier in the cooler (even cold!) months of the year when I can wear boots and a sweater. I’ll take snow over hot and humid weather any day!

I think one of summer’s few redeeming qualities (and for me, they are few!) is the fresh fruit that is in season. At the top of my list are cherries. Though I often think I could live in a climate with no summers, I do think I would miss the cherries.

So, this year, in an effort to preserve my beloved cherries for the more preferable months of the year, I started investigating how to can cherries. I didn’t want to just make pie filling.  I wanted cherries that I could bake with and create recipes with all year long. In the middle of my research, I stumbled on a recipe in Small-Batch Preserving (a favorite new book that I’d recommend if you enjoy canning!) for preserving fruits with spirits. I couldn’t get it out of my head… I was particularly intrigued with the idea of Amaretto soaked cherries. A few days later I stocked up on cherries and a bottle of Amaretto.

If you are interested in canning, but don’t have a lot of experience, this recipe is a great place to start. It’s pretty easy and yeilds a manageable four pints. You don’t have to worry about the different stages of a gel and whether or not your mixture has boiled correctly. Simply pack the jars with fruit and liquor, ladle in syrup, and process in boiling water. It’s simple. And, you will thank me later when you have lovely jars of Amaretto soaked cherries in your pantry just waiitng to be used in cobblers, crumbles, cocktails, and more!

Amaretto Cherries
(Yields 4 pints, adapted from Small-Batch Preserving)

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 7 cups pitted sweet cherries
  • 4 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
    (Whatever you like… I used Disaronno)

Prepare your boiling water canner and sterilize four pint jars, lids, and bands in the hot (but not quite boiling) water.

In the meantime, prepare the syrup.  Zest the lemon, and then measure out two tablespoons of juice from the lemon.  Combine the zest, lemon juice, water, and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring the mixture up to a boil to dissolve the sugar and allow to boil gently for one minute.

Pack the cherries into the hot, sterilized jars and add one tablespoon of Amaretto liqeuer to each jar of cherries.  Ladle the hot syrup into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.  Wipe the rims of the jars, and fit with the lids and bands.

Process the jars in boiling water for 15 minutes.

First time canning? Be sure to check out these guidelines for boiling water canning! I have done my best to ensure that this recipe is safe for canning, and I used a reputable source.  However, it is always important to double check the guidelines to make sure a recipe is safe for canning.

Please Note – The links to Small-Batch Preserving provided in this post are Amazon affiliate links.

44 Responses to Amaretto Cherries

  1. These look delicious! I have always stuck with sour cherries for pie filling and jam, but you’ve inspired me to try these. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. A. I think you’ve just convinced me to start canning.
    B. NOT a fan of summer…AT ALL. *high five*
    C. Amaretto? MY FAVORITE!!!
    D. Did you see the cherry/amaretto/champagne cocktail in Martha? I’ve thought about it EVERYday (no joke) since getting the last issue.

  3. Amaretto is my drink of choice and these cherries look wonderful. I’ll be looking forward to seeing some lovely winter desserts and dishes that I just know you are going to treat us to in the winter.

  4. No hate mail here. I’m so with you on disliking summer. I will definitely try these. They look and sound very good.

  5. Hate you? Never! I love summer but am spoiled with living in Denver. No humidity is my friend; I spent half my life in the midwest or south and I avoid them in the summer.

    Did you say you wanted my address? To ship some of those jars this way? Because this looks amazing with a bit of decadent thrown in!

  6. This is kind of cracking me up because my sister just posted about how much she loves summer! I love summer, but I look forward to sweaters & boots. Not so much the snow.

    I haven’t ever canned but this recipe sure looks non-scary. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Oooooh, you’re speaking my language! I’m also NOT a fan of summer (give me Autumn year round) and I LOVE Amaretto and cherries. I’m definitely going to try this. It will be my first attempt at canning but I can’t think of anything better than this recipe to cut my canning teeth on. Thanks Jen!

  8. You are most definitely ringing my bell! Cherries are my favorite fruit by far, and I dearly love Amaretto. This is a must-try! Many thanks!

  9. No hate mail!
    I am a first time canner (or I guess a zero time canner), I may have to give this a shot.
    They look amazing and terrific shots as usual :)

  10. I love summer, but among my friends and family I’m definitely in the minority. I’ve never attempted canning so I’m glad you shared the book recommendation, I’ll check it out. These cherries would be amazing to have on hand!

  11. I’m laying here in bed reading your blog and I just woke my husband up by saying” Oh Oh so going to do this tomorrow!” Can’t wait to try it.
    P.S- I live in Phoenix AZ, if you love the winter, never more here, we don’t have one, its flip flops and shorts all year long.

  12. Om nom!
    Would this be a good way to use up cherries that aren’t particularly sweet? Sometimes I buy a bag and when I finally get to eat them at home, they aren’t the best ones out there…

  13. I just used this recipe while canning cherries for the first time. I think the amaretto is going to be *wonderful* with the cherries.

    Next summer I’ll have to get out and pick cherries while they’re actually in season!

  14. Right there with you on hot weather! I can’t wait to try this as my canning efforts (peach preserves last summer) were abysmal. I made GREAT peach syrup!

  15. […] decided to fight the fear and started looking for an easy recipe.  I came across a recipe from My Kitchen Addiction for Amaretto Cherries and was inspired to do a variation. I followed her recipe substituing cherry […]

  16. I just love cherries. It may be to late for me to do this now, but it’s an absolute MUST for next year. Thanks.

  17. I just tried to make these (the jars are still cooling on the counter). I have a question – after the processing for the 15 minutes, when I put them on the cooling rack/sheet, they started to leak. They did not leak at all in the water bath (the red would have been very obvious). They stopped after a little while. Is this normal? Or should I be worried? Thanks.

    • Hi, Jessica – If the jars started to leak, it sounds like they might have been filled too full? I would be concerned that they did not seal properly. If so, it’s probably best to keep them in the fridge and enjoy them soon.

  18. This was a fantastic addition to my search for ways to use and preserve the sour cherries growing in the backyard. I’ve really been enjoying the amaretto cherry kick at the bottom of my manhattens. The jars all look canned well, too – no spoilage after the first month that I can tell. Amaretto is a perfect pairing. Thank you!

  19. I love summer but then I live where we don’t have humidity and the mornings and evenings are not hot-most of the time really cool. Any who! This sounds delightful. I love both cherries and Disaronno :-) Thanks for sharing!

  20. I’ve only just started on canning adventures and just did your recipe last night. Would you say it’s better to let them sit a while before cracking a jar? If so, how long?

    • Hi – You should always allow canning jars to sit for 24 hours to make sure that the lids seal properly… However, if you’re planning to eat the cherries, anytime is fine. However, I do think I would give them a few days to just let all of the flavors combine. Hope you enjoy the cherries!

    • Hi – Just look for the Printer Friendly button at the bottom of the recipe. You can customize how you want the recipe to print (and delete text or photos, if you like). Hope that helps!

  21. I was looking for a recipe to can my cherries, I have like 16 pounds. This is an excellent one and then dip them in white chocolate for gifts. Thank you very much for sharing.

  22. The USDA says that pints of cold pack cherries should be processed in a water bath for 25 minutes. Could you tell me what resource you used that told you 15 minutes. This recipe with the Amaretto makes a really nice batch but I processed at 25 minutes. I also added the lemon juice (bottled) to the bottom of the jar since lemon juice is heat sensitive. Also don’t you agree you should use bottled lemon juice since the ph is stable and fresh lemon juice is not? What do you think?

  23. The neighbors’ tree is EXPLODING w/ cherries so I tried your recipe … VERY NICE! However, being the booze hound I am, I used 4 tbsp DiSarrono per pint, & also made kiddie-friendly w/no booze. Everyone in the fam agreed this recipe is the (cherry) BOMB! Thanks!