Canning, Pickling

Amarene Sciroppate (Sour Cherries in Syrup)

Nicoletta September 12, 2017

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Amarene Sciroppate (Sour Cherries in Syrup) is a great way to utilize the last of the Evans Sour Cherry harvest, canning them whole in a simple syrup made of sugar, water, and just a touch of bourbon vanilla powder.

Song of the day: “Gravity” by John Mayer.

amarene sciroppate

My dreams are crimson red and taste like sour cherries.



We have been blessed with quite a few pounds of sour cherries to work with, from a couple of dear friends that have an acreage just outside Edmonton, Margaret and Raymond. We got to share their company, wonderful meals, chats, laughs and the sour cherry harvest. Our hands are stained red, our hearts are full, and so is our freezer, pantry, and stomach. We tried to give them justice in many possible ways, to showcase their amazing, unique, flavor in different combinations. We’ve frozen some bags for future use, we’ve made sour cherry jams, sour cherries in whiskey (recipe from Margaret, Kitchen Frau), and today’s recipe Amarene Sciroppate, as we call them in Italy, that is Sour Cherries in Syrup. With the jam, we’ve also made homemade sour cherry pop tarts (recipe coming soon) and sour cherry shortbread squares, we’ve been spreading it on toast or eating it by the spoonfuls.

That’s why, when we go to bed, tired but happy, our dreams taste like sour cherries.

Amarene sciroppateAmarene sciroppate

The taste of sour Evans cherries was something unfamiliar to me before living in Alberta, Canada. I feel truly blessed I get to experience new products, get to know new people and develop new tastes, and friendships. This end of summer is becoming my favorite time of the year, between the harvesting, canning, freezing, the socializing that comes with it, and the beautiful weather we’re still having.

Amarene Sciroppate (Sour Cherries in Syrup) is one of the easiest and quickest way to preserve some spare sour cherries.

First of all, they do not need to be pitted (you can if you want), which is the most labor intensive task when dealing with this fruit. You just need to dust them with sugar and bourbon vanilla powder (or vanilla, if that’s what you have), cover with a towel and let sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours. The day after you separate the sugar from the fruit, add the sugar to a pot on the stove on medium-low heat, add the water and bring to a boil. After simmering for about 15 minutes, you add the cherries to this simple syrup and cook over low heat for about ten more minutes, removing the foam from the top as you would do if you were making a jam. When the fruits are softened, fill the sterilized jars, cover with the liquid and put on the lids. That’s it.

It is best to use the Sour cherries in syrup after 1 month, they will have the time to mingle with the syrup, get more plumped up and juicy. You can then use them to decorate cakes, cupcakes, ice cream, top your Italian zeppole, remembering to tell people there’s still the pit, or you can take out the pit and add the cherries to your pies, tarts, or galettes. You could also make a compote for those Sunday brunches, or how about a sauce for something savory?

amarene sciroppate

As soon as you open the jar the sugary aroma fills the air and you’ll just want to take a spoon and taste them. Sweet, plump, and juicy, with just a little bit of tartness left in them, they keep intact the flavor of the summer, of the sunny days that kissed them, of the happy days that filled your memories.

amarene sciroppate (sour cherries in syrup)


Song of the day: “Gravity” by John Mayer.

amarene sciroppate

Amarene Sciroppate (Sour Cherries in Syrup)

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 hours 37 minutes
  • Yield: 2 x 8oz (225 ml) jars 1x
  • Category: Canning, Preserving


  • 500 g sour cherries, washed and gently dried
  • 250 g super fine granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp bourbon vanilla powder (or vanilla extract)
  • 150 ml (2/3 cup) water


  1. Gently wash the cherries, taking the stalk out, and spread them on a clean towel to dry completely.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the amarene (sour) cherries with the sugar and bourbon vanilla powder.
  3. Cover with a towel and let sit for 24 hours
  4. The day after, separate the cherries from the sugar. Add the sugar to a pot on the stove on medium-low heat, add the water and bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer for 12-15 minutes, then add the cherries and cook over low heat for about ten more minutes.
  6. With a spoon remove the foam from the top, as you would do if you were making a jam.
  7. When the fruits are softened, take off heat, fill the jars with the cherries and cover with the liquid, put on the lids, and tighten up well.
  8. Turn the jar upside down and let cool at room temperature, then store upright in a dark and cool place.


1) To sterilize the jars, wash them and place them upright on a tray, with the lids, in the oven at 170° C (340°F) for about 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and let sit for few more minutes.
2) You might end up with more liquid than what you can fit in the jar. We saved it to add it to our smoothies.
3) Sour cherries in syrup can be stored for up to 3 months, keeping the jars in a cool, dry place away from direct light. It is best to wait at least 1 month before consuming the cherries. After you’ve opened the jar, store in the refrigerator and consume the cherries within 3-4 days.

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  • Avatar
    Reply thefoodblognet September 13, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I agree, the end of summer is the best. There is so much to harvest, and preserving some of it is a great way to enjoy it through the cold months. These cherries are perfect to have on hand for so many uses that you mentioned. Thanks for sharing.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta September 13, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      Yes, so much to harvest and preserve for the winter! Thank you for your comment, Colleen.

  • Avatar
    Reply Nidhi Patel September 13, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful experience of yours and the recipe; How much I can relate to the farm experience, growing up we use to have a Mango farm in India, and boy oh boy the exposure to the varieties of mangoes and their unique taste. This definitely sounds yum!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta September 13, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      I can just imagine all the varieties of mangoes…that’s an experience! Thank you so much for your comment!

  • Avatar
    Reply Dana Sandonato September 13, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Oh my goodness, I *LOVE* sour cherries! This looks and sounds delightful. I’d eat it by the spoonful!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta September 13, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      Sour cherries are awesome! We tried to make them justice in so many ways, this one preserve them so well! Thank you, Dana!

  • Avatar
    Reply Nicole September 13, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Ever since I saw those cherries on Instagram, I was excited to see what you were going to do with them. This looks excellent! Can’t wait for the pop tarts you created!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta September 13, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      Oh, those pop tarts…unbelievable! Next week the recipe :-). We tried to preserve these amazing cherries in many beautiful ways, hope we did them justice. Thank you so much!

  • Avatar
    Reply Janine Thompson August 6, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    Can you can these in a hot water bath?? Will they keep longer that way??

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta August 7, 2020 at 3:04 pm

      Yes, after you sealed tight the jars, you can follow the same procedure as you would do for jams, boiling the jars for about 30 minutes.

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