Makes 4 x 450g jars
600ml cider vinegar
5cm piece cinnamon stick
1 tsp allspice berries
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1.5kgs firm, ripe cherries
750g granulated sugar
Put the vinegar, cinnamon, allspice berries, orange zest and juice into a pan and bring to the boil. Boil for 4-5 minutes then strain and allow to cool.
Prick each cherry with a needle (prevents splitting). Add the fruit to the cold spiced vinegar in a clean pan. Bring slowly to simmering point, then simmer very gently for 10-15 minutes until cherries are tender. Using a slotted spoon lift out the cherries and pack them into warm sterilised jars.
Return the spiced vinegar to the heat, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Boil for several minutes to reduce and thicken. Pour this hot spiced syrup over the cherries and seal immediately with vinegar proof lids. Store in a cool dark place and ideally keep for 8 weeks before eating.