Hot Cherry Preserves

De Arbol (Capsicum Annuum) means tree like in Spanish. The plant has thick, upright, woody stems and the chile itself is narrow, curved and bright red in color. Believed to be closely related to the pequin, the De Arbol is thin fleshed, with tannic, smoky, grassy flavor and searing heat. This chile has a heat range of 7.5 on the heat scale of 1-10. De Arbol Chiles are comparable to a Cayenne Pepper. Scoville heat units 15,000 to 30,000.

Suggested Use:
De Arbol is a hot chile and a staple in Southwest kitchens. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish. Be adventurous and add them to your next stew or chili along with the other spices. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish.

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12 oz (a scant 2 cups) pitted sour cherries
2/3 cup sugar
3 dried chile de árbol (can sub cayenne or pequin if unavailable)
1 spent vanilla bean (optional)
1 teaspoon lemon juice


Toss all ingredients except the lemon juice in a medium bowl and store covered in the fridge overnight.

Place the contents of the bowl in a small saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Increase heat to medium-high and boil for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The cherries should be beginning to break down and the liquid should be slightly thickened.

Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Let cool to room temperature and store in a clean half-pint jar in the fridge.