I never made rum cherries before. People write about it as an easy thing to make, but no, it isn’t easy. One of the problems I encountered was not having the same kind of preservative they use in Hungary. So I set up several very small experiments, rum being expensive and all. Two went bad, two other batches worked, but the cherries either shrivelled up or lost their color. [All of these following recipes] The last batch I made on my own and finally success! It’s been ready for awhile; I already used half of it for the Russian cake last weekend. The minuscule amount that remains I poured into a sterilized jar, covered it and put it in the back of the fridge until Christmas. It will be used in a Christmas trifle. What people fail to mention is the fairly large amount of cherry liquor that is the by product of making rum cherries. I am not saying it’s a bad thing. But we shall see if it remains as is, or if it ends up fermenting onto my liqueur cabinet.

The cherries must not be allowed to ferment; as soon as these white bubbles appear on the top: action is required. [I added more citric acid, twice] The citric acid I used came from a U Brew Wine store. “Fruitfresh” is also citric acid, but I don’t think it’s the same as what the wine stores sell. So that is the first thing, get a small package of citric acid from the wine store. Some people advised to use 54-56% rum. Rum sold in B.C. has 40% alcohol content, and that is plenty strong for us. Besides I didn’t want to end up with so much alcohol as not to taste the cherries; I had those before. Might as well just drink the booze and forget about the cherries

The next important thing is to remove all the pits. [In the batch with the pits the cherries shrivelled into tough wrinkled balls] The cherries in bottles all turned brown. So the final thing is put the cherries into a blemish free enamel pot or a fully glazed pottery crock or casserole dish. Don’t use stainless steel or aluminum, but keep the cherries fully covered and in the dark. I don’t think I have to say it, but I will say it anyway. Use only flawless cherries and make sure everything you use to make the rum cherries is very, very clean. Avoid stirring or tasting; I just jiggled the crock a few times, this too can reduce the risk of contamination.

Fully ripe, blemish free cherries
1 pkg. citric acid from the wine store

• Wash the cherries and let them drain.
• Remove stems and the pith.
• Drain well.
• Put a layer of cherries in the pot.
• Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of Fruitfresh
• Cover with some sugar.
• Continue layering cherries, then with Fruitfresh and finally with sugar until all the cherries are gone.
• Cover the pot and let cherries rest for 3 days. Cherries will release a lot of liquid.
• On the third day top off the cherries with rum.
• .Add 3 Tbsp of citric acid.
• Cover the pot and keep checking the cherries daily. As soon as white bubbles appear add 1-2 Tbsp of citric acid.
• In two to three weeks the cherries will be ready for consumption.
• Pour into sterilized jars and place jars in the fridge. I estimate it will be good for six months or so.
• Pour the access rum cherry liqueur in a clean bottle and place it in the liqueur cabinet. You will know what to do.
• Rum cherries are excellent for cake decorating, puddings, ice cream, cakes, pastries and cocktail drinks.

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!