homemade maraschino cherries

makes one quart

adapted from Nick Mautone's book Raising the Bar

1/2 cup (125 ml) water

1/2 cup (125 ml) black cherry or concord grape juice

1/2 cup (4 ounces) natural cane sugar

Freshly juice (3 tablespoons/1 1/2 ounces/50 ml) of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

2 cups (9 1/2 ounces/266 grams) sweet bing cherries, pitted

Add the water, cherry or grape juice and sugar to a 2-quart pot. Bring to a boil over high heat and let cook 1 to 2 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the lemon juice, extract and cherries. Cook 5 minutes to let the cherries absorb the flavors, then remove the pot from the heat.

Transfer to a clean sterilized jar and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes for long-term storage, or just pop the jar in the fridge if you plan on using them within one month.