Caribbean Cherry Marmalade (Dulce de Cereza)

The Dominican Cherry Dessert "Dulce de Cereza" is what I will call Caribbean Cherry Marmalade, is very easy to prepare. It  may be eaten alone or as a topping for ice cream or desserts. At harvest time I also make some Dominican Cherry Juice (Jugo de Cereza) and of course this typical Dominican dessert. 

Receta en Español: aquí.

As a child I remember visiting the Dominican Republic and eating this dessert at relatives homes. I also remember seeing wooden tables of street vendors full of jars with dulce de cereza, cashews, and a few roasted sweet potatoes (batatas) on the main highway, Auto Pista Duarte, going to Santo Domingo. These are some of my childhood memories of this beautiful eternal summer country. The tables remain there and batatas asadas are still sold, but rarily you'll see some cashews and cereza dessert. I'm sure Dominicans living abroad miss this dulce, therefore, I hope this post will grant them a delightful memory and encourage those who can, to make this dessert at home.

My Cereza Tree!

Recipe to make Caribbean Cherry Marmalade (Dulce de Cereza)

6 pounds of cherries
2 pounds of sugar
1 teaspoon of ground sweet cloves
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
2 cinnamon sticks

1. Clean and rinse cherries well and place in pot with enough water to just about cover the cherries.
2. When it begins to simmer discard all the water, add more fresh water and bring to a simmer. Repeat this step once more. This helps remove the sour taste of the cherries. 
3. Add enough fresh water for a third time until just the cherries are just covered. Add sugar and spices, cook over high heat until the syrup thickens, stir occasionally.
4. Let cool completely before eating. As this jam cools it  will thicken. Store in a plastic or glass container in the fridge.

If you would like to can your “Dulce de Cereza” follow these instructions: Use a ladle to fill the jars almost to the top.  When you have filled the jars apply the lids. Invert the jars for one minute to ensure that the lid is sterilized by the hot jam. Note: Handle the jars with an oven cloth or folded tea towel.

A special dedication to my two wonderful cousins in N.Y., Belkis and Dayi.


"These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall" ~ 1 Corinthians 10:11-12

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