Home Canned Maraschino Cherries Without Liquor

I always wanted to try making my own maraschino cherries. Some one posted in a online canning group a link to making them in a post showing their canned cherries. Bing cherries was used and no Maraschino Liquor. Most recipes I have seen uses the liquor from Italy. This recipe is a four day process that soaks the cherries in a sugar syrup before canning them. I showed recipe to my son and the next day he gave me 4 pound of Bing Cherries to make them.

I didn’t have a cherry pitter so my cherries are mostly halves. I did learn later that I could have used a straw and long neck bottle to push the cherry seeds out. You just place the cherry on top of the neck of the bottle and use the plastic straw to push the seed out. But I usually cut my cherries up when I use them to cook with.

The Bing cherries make a very dark syrup and the cherries are not the bright red ones you buy. Something I didn’t know was the commercial made maraschino cherries are bleached first and dyed bright red in the process. I tasted them before I canned them and they tasted good so I expect them to be even better after a couple of months. The recipe made 9 half pints of cherries because I loosely packed them about 3/4’s full and ladled the hot syrup on them. I was left with 3 half pints of cherry syrup to can. I am sure the syrup will not go to waste. All total I had 12 half pints from this recipe.

Canned Maraschino Cherries

  • Difficulty: intermediate
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Makes 9 half pints cherries and 3 half pints cherry syrup

  • 4 – 4 1/2 pounds Bing cherries pitted
  • Brine: 8 cups water, 2 tablespoons pickling salt
  • 8 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup bottled lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 2 tablespoon almond extract

Water Bath Canner


Day One. Pit cherries. Heat brine made from water and salt. Soak cherries in hot brine over night.

Day Two. In the morning drain cherries and rinse in water to remove excess salt. In a stock pot make syrup of water, sugar, lemon juice and red food coloring . Bring to a boil. Cook for one minute. Remove from heat add cherries and cover with a lid. Soak the cherries for 24 hours.

Day Three. Save the syrup from cherries to reheat. Remove the cherries while heating syrup . When syrup is hot remove from heat and add cherries back into the syrup and cover with a lid to soak for 24 hours.

Day Four. Sterilize jars in hot water bath for 10 minutes. While the jars are boiling, remove cherries from syrup one more time to heat syrup. Bring to a boil. Cook for one minute. Add cherries and almond extract to hot syrup. Remove from heat. Pack jars 3/4 full with cherries using a slotted spoon. Add syrup over cherries leaving one inch head space. Do all jars to distribute cherries evenly. Wipe rims with white vinegar and seal finger tip tight. Place in hot water bath. Follow with left over syrup filling left over jars with one inch head space. Seal and place in hot water bath with cherries, Process for 20 minutes at a full boil. Turn off heat and leave jars in hot water bath until it stops boiling. That takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove jars onto a towel. Tighten lids because they will be loose. Let cool to room temperature before removing lids.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. zippyquilts says:

    These have got to be better for you than something that has been bleached and then dyed a red not found in nature!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      I like to bake and these will last me all year. Next year I will do a better job of making them so they stay whole. After reading how they make maraschino cherries, I will be reluctant to use them. Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Now this is one thing I never thought about making! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      I am hoping the cherries will be a great addition to my baking. It wasn’t hard, It reminded me of making tootie fruity in a crock when I was a kid. Preserving fruit in a crock is not approved by FDA. I bet people still do it because it was yummy to cook with. Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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