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Cherry Preserves

Cherry Preserves

Plump red cherries floating in a thick, sweet ruby syrup – what a wonderful way to preserve this last bit of the season!

There are so many methods for making jams and preserves. This recipe is similar to the one I use for strawberry preserves, capturing the whole beautiful cherry.

It’s perfect for breakfast and excellent as a dessert sauce or topping for cheese as an appetizer.

The added bonus with this recipe – it gives you some control over the thickness of the syrup. After cooking the cherries, remove them from the kettle and cook the syrup 10 minutes or a bit more if you like a thicker syrup. Just keep in mind the syrup will thicken after it is chilled. And don’t cook past 220-degrees or the preserves will be sticky.

The hardest part in making preserves is patience. As with the strawberry preserves I make, there are several stages including an overnight rest. Take the time to let the sugar fully dissolve. But this recipe is a bit forgiving.

If the sugar didn’t fully dissolve while cooking it will settle on the bottom of the dish overnight. Simply pour the cherry preserves back into a kettle and heat until the sugar has melted before ladling the preserves into your jars.

If you don’t own a cherry pitter go grab one. I use Oxo’s pitter – it is a single-purpose tool worth having on hand. It’s the quickest way to get the pits out of this lovely stone fruit.

Cherry season is short but really sweet – go and capture the goodness!

Cherry Preserves

2 pounds fresh cherries, pitted – about 7 cups

4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon butter

Place the cherries in a large kettle or stockpot. Add the sugar and stir to blend together. Let the cherries and sugar set at room temperature for about 3 to 4 hours.

Heat the cherries and sugar over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, about 45 minutes. Stir frequently to keep the sugar from scorching while it melts.

Once the sugar has dissolved add the butter and turn the heat up to medium. The addition of butter helps to minimize any foam from forming. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Let the cherries boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Using a slotted spoon remove the cherries from the syrup and transfer to a heat proof shallow dish. (A 9” x 9” baking dish works well for this.)

Bring the syrup back to a boil and continue to boil for an additional 10 minutes to thicken slightly. If you want a thicker syrup boil for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until the temperature reaches 220-degrees, but not over or the syrup will be sticky. Keep in mind the syrup will also thicken as it chills.

Pour the syrup over the cherries, and allow the mixture to cool. Once cool, loosely cover and let the cherries stand at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours. Swirl the pan occasionally but do not stir.

If the sugar didn’t fully dissolve while cooking it will settle on the bottom of the dish, as it stands overnight. Simply pour the cherry preserves and any sugar back into a kettle and cook over medium until the sugar has melted, about 5 to 10 minutes. Ladle the cooked preserves into four sterilized 8-ounce jars. You will have a bit extra leftover.

Keep refrigerated or process in a water bath following the jar manufacturer’s directions. Ball makes wonderful canning jars and has great step-by-step guidelines to canning safely on their website.

Cherry Preserves, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

August 15, 2018
: 4 half pint jars

Plump red cherries floating in a thick, sweet ruby syrup – what a wonderful to preserve the last bit of the season!

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds fresh cherries, pitted – about 7 cups
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon butter
Directions
  • Step 1 Place the cherries in a large kettle or stockpot. Add the sugar and stir to blend together. Let the cherries and sugar set at room temperature for about 3 to 4 hours.
  • Step 2 Heat the cherries and sugar over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, about 45 minutes. Stir frequently to keep the sugar from scorching while it melts.
  • Step 3 Once the sugar has dissolved add the butter and turn the heat up to medium.The addition of butter helps to minimize any foam from forming. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Step 4 Let the cherries boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Step 5 Using a slotted spoon remove the cherries from the syrup and transfer to a heat proof shallow dish. (A 9” x 9” baking dish works well for this.)
  • Step 6 Bring the syrup back to a boil and continue to boil for an additional 10 minutes to thicken slightly. If you want a thicker syrup boil for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until the temperature reaches 220-degrees, but not over or the syrup will be sticky. Keep in mind the syrup will thicken as it chills.
  • Step 7 Pour the syrup over the cherries, and allow the mixture to cool. Once cool, loosely cover and let the cherries stand at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours. Swirl the pan occasionally but do not stir.
  • Step 8 If the sugar didn’t fully dissolve while cooking it will settle on the bottom of the dish, as it stands overnight. Simply pour the cherry preserves and any sugar back into a kettle and cook over medium until the sugar has melted, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Step 9 Ladle the cooked preserves into four sterilized 8-ounce jars. You will have a bit extra leftover.
  • Step 10 Keep refrigerated or process in a water bath following the jar manufacturer’s directions. Ball makes wonderful canning jars and has great step-by-step guidelines to canning safely on their website.


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