Cherry Gliko (or Liko) is a Spoon Sweet preserve made out of pitted whole cherries. In my native country of Albania it is used as a topping or as a Spoon Sweet to welcome people in your house when they visit.
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What Is Spoon Sweet?
Spoon Sweet are preserves usually made of fruit. They are prepared in a similar method to jams, just more time consuming since it requires a more elegant presentation. Several Balkan countries serve spoon sweet made with different fruits to welcome people in their house.
It is customary in my native country of Albania to serve a spoon sweet with a glass of water and Turkish coffee to people visiting your house. As someone who grew up in a multi-generational home, we did have a lot of people visiting. My mom used to can the spoon sweets of different fruits so we could always have something sweet to offer our guests.
We called Cherry Gliko in my native language ‘Liko Qershie’.
Regular Cherry Jam vs Gliko (Liko)
Anytime I can find cherry at the local farmer’s market I tend to buy a big bag and make jam with it. There are similarities in making Cherry Jam vs Cherry Gliko but there are also differences.
- Cherries can be ripe and soft for jam, but you need them to be ripe and firm for gliko because cherries need to hold the shape after cooking.
- I tend to let cherry jam cook once until it reaches the consistency I want, however cherry gliko is cooked twice on slow heat to allow for the syrup to set.
- To make cherry jam, you add sugar when you are setting cherries and water to boil. While to make cherry gliko you mix cherries with sugar and let it chill for few hours. This process allows the cherries to absorb the sugar and this process will allows them maintaining their shape too.
- Cherry jam is usually not garnished and is served with buttered toast. Cherry spoon sweet is served in a small dish, over a spoon and usually garnished with mint or ‘mullaga’ (a local plant to South of Albania, my grandparents always had a pot or two of it in the balcony).
Back home, I remember helping out with pitting cherries. It was really an acquired skill. Women pitted cherries using the crochet stick or big needle they used to sew big comforters together!! Such a different world.
I was surprised when my friend Becky told me about this tool to pit cherries, it makes it so much easier. There are different versions of it in the market, I haven’t tried them all but here is the cherry pitter I use.
Note – Keep the cherry stems/tails to make tea. Dry them in the sun and then store them in a ziplock bag or air tight container. They make great detox tea with plenty of health benefits.
Cherry Gliko (Spoon Sweet)
- Cherry Pitter
- Medium pot
- 2 lbs cherries
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
- 0.5 tsp lemon zest (optional)
- 1.5 cups water
- Pit the cherries and remove the stems (you can save the stems and dry them for tea). Cherries have to be ripe but firm. Softer cherries can be used to make jam.
- Mix cherries in a mixing bowl with 2 cups of sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill for minimum 4-5 hrs. I usually let them chill overnight. Cherries will absorb the sugar.
- Add sugared cherries and 1.5 cups water in a pot. Turn heat on and once water boils, lower heat to simmer or low. Add the last cup of sugar. Let cook on low heat for 1 hour.
- Leave the preserve cool down for few hours.
- Return the pot on the stovetop. Turn heat on and once the preserve starts cooking, low heat again to low. Let cook until there's very little syrup left, usually another hour or so. Add lemon juice and zest halway through.
- Use proper canning techniques for bigger batches. This recipe produces about 16 ozs of gliko (1 jar).
- Calories are estimated assuming 1 serving is 1 tbsp. But believe me it’s hard to stop at just 1 tbsp. Fair warning:)
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please pin the below image to Pinterest. Feel free to tag me in social media if you made the recipe or leave me a comment if you have questions. Thank you:)
Jams & Preserves
I have more jams and preserves recipes in my blog, you can check them out below: