Friday, August 21, 2009

Canning Cherries

I love cherries. I mean, I love all fruit, really, but the cherries that grow here in Washington are truly a wonder. My favorite preserve from last year was a cherry-almond jam, so I bought a bunch of cherries to do that, and also try some pickled cherries. The jam was something of a failure - I thought it had reached the jelling point, but it never really set. Luckily, cherry-almond syrup is still delicious!

The pickled cherries smell great, but I'm letting them pickle a bit longer before I actually eat any of them. They sure are purty, though!

Cherry-Almond Jam
adapted from the Ball Blue Book

  • 2.25 lb pitted cherries (about 3 lb cherries will yield this, with some left over for eating)
  • 3/4 amaretto
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 package powdered pectin
  • 4 1/2 C sugar
Finely chop the cherries (I use an immersion blender for this, and puree them in the saucepan). Combine cherries, amaretto, lemon juice, and pectin in a large saucepan. Stir well to combine. Bring to a boil and add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring to make sure it doesn't stick. Remove from heat and skim foam. Ladle into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
yield: 6 half-pint jars

Pickled Sweet Cherries
adapted from Small-Batch Preserving

  • 1 3/4 C white vinegar
  • 1 3/4 C granulated sugar
  • 3/4 C water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tsp whole allspice
  • 2 lb dark sweet cherries (optional: pit the cherries - the recipe calls for using them "with stems," but I went ahead and de-pitted them for ease of later eating)

Combine everything other than then cherries in a small pan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat a simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered.

Pack the cherries into sterilized jars and pour the hot syrup over them, leaving 1/2" headspace. Process 15 min for pint jars.
yield: about 3 pint jars

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