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Sour Cherry Preserves {Recipe}

We're dealing with some health issues, hence posting is light. I'll fill y'all in when there is some resolution. In the meantime, find some sour cherries. sour cherry preserves recipeThese are the best preserves ever.

If I could only eat one jam for the rest of my life, this would be it.

Sour cherry preserves kick the lid off all other preserves.

<insert your favorite superlative here>

I rarely make such declarations and in fact poke fun at Alex who overuses superlatives. But seriously folks, I love sour cherry preserves.

The luminescent crimson cherries yields a rich yet adaptable flavor. Sugar mellows the tart just enough to not cause a pucker but a piquant zap to the tongue.

Tart cherry jam is as at home in a crepe as on a charcuterie plate. A schmear on cheese sandwich elevates the everyday to the remarkable. On a buttermilk biscuit? Oh my...

The sour cherry season in central Ohio is nearly over but don't dismay. Our friends to the north are just beginning their harvest. Lisa the Waitress, in her sorely missed blog, suggests ordering cherries from Michigan through Jacquemin or Yutzy's Farm. The most recent Yutzy's newsletter said "SOUR CHERRIES. ARRIVING IN 2 SHIPMENTS 2nd AND 3rd WEEKS OF JULY. PLEASE CALL TO ORDER AND FOR PRICING. 614-873-3815"

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Sour Cherry Preserves

makes 6-7 half pints

7 cups sour cherries, pitted and crushed 4 teaspoons calcium water (comes with Pamona's pectin) 2 cups sugar (add more or substitute honey as your taste dictates) 4 teaspoons Pamona's pectin

1. Stew sour cherries in their juice over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pan for 5-10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, sterilize jars, lids, and rings. I like to heat clean jars in boiling water in my canning pot and put lids and rings in a smaller pot of boiling water.

3. Stir calcium water into cherries.

4. Measure sugar in a bowl. Stir pectin into sugar.

5. Add sugar/pectin mixture to the cherries. Stir and heat to boiling.

6. Once at a boil, turn off the heat. Put a teaspoon of jam in a bowl and place in freezer for 1 minute to test for the set. If it gels, proceed with water bath canning. If it does not set, stir one half cup sugar, 1 teaspoon pectin, and 1 teaspoon calcium water into hot cherries. Return to boil and test again.

7. To can, ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving a quarter inch head space. Place lids and rings on jars and tighten to finger tight. Return jars to the hot water bath and process at boiling for ten minutes.

8. Remove jars from boiling water and allow to cool on a dishcloth covered counter for 24 hours. Remove rings, wipe away leaks, and store in a cool dry place for up to two years.

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Related notes:

  • My other favorite thing to do with sour cherries? Steep them in vodka for a month or two, sweeten with simple syrup to taste, and drink the most amazing liqueur for the rest of the year. Yum!
  • Read Lil's post about sour cherries.
  • Come to my strawberry canning demonstration at Easton Farmer's Market this Thursday to relieve yourself of fears about canning. I'll be in the Local Matters tent at 4 pm. I get to give away some canning supplies and samples too.

Added to Hearth & Soul 54.