Cherry Preserves

August 1, 2011

Ok, after Pepper Jelly success, I’m really getting into this canning and preserves business.  It’s pretty easy.  I’m usually not a germaphobe in the kitchen but something about canning was making me a little paranoid.  All those dire warnings!  But you, dear readers, have talked sense back into me and I thank you for that.

Cherries were on sale so I bought a whole bunch for preserves.  Next up?  Blueberries.  More ideas are swirling in my head and I can’t wait for winter’s oranges for homemade marmalade.  Too bad the grapefruit tree finally succumbed to hurricane damage because pink grapefruit marmalade sounds good too.

  • Cherries, a couple of pounds?, or 6 to 7 cups when pitted and chopped
  • Sugar, 8 cups
  • Certo Liquid Pectin, 2 pouches
  • Canning Jars, 7 to 8 1/2 pints

Put the jars and bands in a big pot, covered by a couple of inches, and bring it to a boil.  Let them boil for ten minutes or so, turn off the heat, cover the pot and just let them sit until you’re ready for them.  Put the lids in a small pan over low heat but don’t let them boil.  There will be plenty of time for the jars to boil while you pit the cherries.

Chop the cherries.  I whirled them in the food processor but you can do them by hand if you like.  My patience was GONE by the time I finished pitting so I took the easy way out.

I ended up with about 8 cups and it really was almost too much.

Combine the cherries and sugar in a large pot and bring them to a boil over medium-high to high heat, stirring almost constantly.  Let it cook for a few minutes, until it thickens up a bit.  Add the pectin all at once and bring it back to a full rolling boil for at least one minute.  Remove the pot from the heat and skim the foam off the top if you like.

Remove the jars from the hot water using tongs.  Ladle the cherries into the jars.  Here’s where I realized I had too much.  I ended up with one big jar that didn’t get processed and sealed.  It went straight to the fridge to be used first.

Use the tongs to put the lids on the jars then screw on the bands.   Lower the jars back into the big pot of hot water, bring them to a boil and let them boil for ten minutes.  Remove them from the water and you should be able to hear them pop as they begin to cool.  Cool completely and store until you’re ready to use.


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