Cherry Preserve - Glyko Kerasiou
Cherry Preserve, one to those cannot go wrong recipes and an all time favorite. The cherries used for this recipe are white cherries or Rainier cherries, as is their true name, and they are available on the island in small quantities. They are actually not eaten here, but used for preserving only. So in June when these white cherries are available on the market, Mrs. Amalia used to buy 2-3 kilos, wash and dry them and then with a lot of patience flip out the pips with the help of a large hairpin, cherry bobbers were not yet available on the island. The hairpin makes 1 hole in the cherry where the bobber makes 2. The cherry with 1 hole fills up with syrup and is therefor rounder, so it may look nicer, but for the taste, one or two holes, same deliciousness! Once the pips are removed then it is a matter of 30 minutes to prepare this sweet. Best eaten, in my opinion, with vanilla ice-cream and some of the cherry syrup and for the thin ones among us add some pieces of homemade brownies!!! You do not have to go to the ice-cream parlour to enjoy a marvelous ice-cream treat!!!
1 kilo of white cherries, ripe but hard
1 kilo sugar
1 1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon vanilla sugar.
Wash the cherries, strain and remove the stalks and pips with a cherry bobber or hairpin.
The pips are traditionally removed with a hairpin! Mrs Amalia was very skillful and removed the pips with a large hairpin leaving the smallest hole possible. As for me, I have tried, and I still us the cherry bobber. The advantage is that there is only one hole in the cherry and therefor they stay rounder when ready as the syrup fills the cherries. So mine are a little flat as I need more practice with the hairpin!
Cherries ready for cooking.
In a large casserole add the water and the sugar and heat until the sugar melts.
Add the cherries to the syrup and bring to the boil. Boil them 20 - 30 minutes, the syrup should thicken slightly.
Scum will form on the top, remove the scum several times with a skimmer.
Test the cherries, they should be soft and sweet. Test also the syrup as follows, take 1 tablespoon of syrup and pour it onto a cold plate, leave it to cool, syrup should be runny but slightly thick.
The "glyko" is ready.
Add hot cherries to hot sterilized jars and fill up with the syrup until 1 centimeter under the edge of the jar. Close the lids tight and place the jars upside down for 10 minutes and then turn them good side up, when cooling down the lids will pop vacuum. They can be stored in a dark cool cupboard for 2 to 3 years, once opened store in the refrigerator.
Enjoy - Καλή όρεξη!!