One of our most clever mango recipes is our Mango Pit Syrup, which is a simple syrup that utilizes all the tropical flesh left on the mango that’s way too hard to extract. The syrup is only slightly mango-esque and more perfumed tropical. It can be used to sweeten anything from teas to cakes, and we have used everything from sugar to honey to rice syrup to make it. In this recipe, we morph it into a poaching liquid to first soften cherries and, eventually, the syrup that said-cherries bask in for a luxurious and slightly spiced maraschino alternative. It’s sultry and easy to make at home. Cherry pitter required; though, we use an olive pitter, same thing.
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½ cup sugar in the raw
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ vanilla bean, scraped
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cracked white peppercorns
¼ teaspoon salt
1 handful of pineapple sage, chopped (optional)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup boiling water
3 mango pits with flesh
5-6 cherries, pitted and finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 ½ cup pitted fresh cherries
Combine the sugars, vanilla bean (including the scraped seeds) spices and zest in a heavy bottom saucepan on medium-heat. Continuously stir the sugar, using a wooden spoon for about 1 minute. You don’t want the sugar to melt but it will begin to appear coarser as it heats up and begins to cook and melt. Cook it for another 30 seconds, stirring constantly and then gently pour in the boiling water and melt the remaining sugar.
Once the sugar is fully dissolved, add the mango pits, chopped cherries and lemon juice. Let the mixture boil for 3-4 minutes and then reduce heat and simmer for 10 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Strain and discard the solids. Place the liquid back in the pan and add the pitted cherries. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 3-5 minutes or until the cherries are a desired softness. I prefer them a bit firmer, while others a bit softer. Take of the heat and cool completely. Once cool, place the syrup and the cherries in a mason jar and refrigerate for up to 8 weeks.