Canning Sweet Cherry Preserves

I used sweet Brooks Cherries for this, my first attempt at making and canning cherry preserves.  Here’s the recipe:

9 cups washed, pitted cherries
4 tlb lemon juice
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 tsp pectin (Mrs. Wages Lite Fruit Pectin)

Wash cherries

washing cherries

 Pit cherries (I highly recommend a pitter, and I HIGHLY recommend using latex gloves, otherwise your hands end up stained a semi-permanent red!)

pitting cherries

 Roughly chop pitted cherries in half and/or in thirds.

chopping cherries

Add cherries to a pot, along with the lemon juice.  Cook over medium heat until they start bubbling, then continue to cook while stirring occasionally for about 20-25 minutes.  Make sure you stir, especially towards the end of that time, so that the juice on the bottom doesn’t burn.  As they are cooking, use a spoon or potato masher to flatten the cherries.

 boiling the cherries

 After the cherries are fully cooked, add the sugar and pectin, then continue to cook over medium-high heat for another 5-7 minutes (again, be sure to continually stir).  The cherries should start to gel (check by dipping in a spoon and letting the cherry mixture drip off the back, and see if the liquid starts to stick to the back of the spoon). If it isn’t gelling, you can add a bit more pectin and/or cook a bit longer.

Transfer mixture into jars (make sure you sterilize the jars and rims first, and heat the lids slightly so that they’ll seal better).  I used a funnel to eliminate dripping, and then carefully wiped off the threads of the jar before putting on the lid and rim.

pouring cherry mixture into jars

Put the jars into the hot bath canner for approx. 10 minutes.

putting jars into hot bath canner

 I used half-pint jars (good size for small samples and gift-giving) and got 6 jars out of each batch.

 finished cans






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