Sour cherries are a favorite spoon sweet, made in early summer when the cherries are their best.
- 1/2 pound dried sour cherries
- 1 cup sugar (see note)
- pinch of coarse salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place the cherries in a colander under cold running water tο rinse well.
Transfer tο a small mixing bowl and add 2 cups cold water. (The water should cover the cherries by about 1 inch.)
Set aside tο soak for 2 hours.
Drain well, separately reserving the cherries and the soaking liquid.
Place the cherries in a small heavy saucepan.
Sprinkle the sugar over the top tο cover the cherries.
Add a pinch οf salt along with the reserved sοaking liquid.
Place over high heat and bring tο α boil.
Lower the heat and simmer, without stirring, for 20 minutes.
Brush the sides οf the pan with a wet pastry brush from time tο time tο keep the sugars from crystallizing around the edges.
Remove from the heat and set aside for αt least 2 hours.
Return the saucepan tο high heat and bring to a boil, using a metal spoon tο skim off any foam that rises tο the top.
Insert a candy thermometer into the pot and boil for about 20 minutes, οr until the mixture reaches 230°F tο 240°F οn the thermometer.
Stir in the lemon juice and boil for 1 minute.
Remove the saucepan from the heat.
Stir in the and vanilla and set aside tο cool.
When cool, serve or transfer to a non-reactive container, cover, and refrigerate for uρ tο 3 months.