Ever since I taught myself how to preserve fresh foods the old-fashioned way last summer, I’ve been obsessed. It is such a rewarding way to spend a quiet summer afternoon. I swear my heart skips a beat when I hear the tops of the jars “pop!”, signaling that the food within is now safe and secure for many months to come.
Whole Foods had a sale on organic cherries last week – $2.99/pound – so I stocked up and bought 12 pounds. Since there’s no way we could eat all that fresh fruit, I made a couple different preserves, one savory and one sweet. I turned to my new favorite cookbook “Tart and Sweet” to try the recipe for Savory Tart Cherry Preserves. Although it is made with sugar, savory essences like black peppercorns, thyme and garlic make this a perfect topping for roast turkey or a nice accompaniment to a rustic cheese platter.
I also made a simple cherry jam with nothing more than some sugar, cinnamon and a bit of my homemade vanilla extract. It’ll be lovely smeared on toast or dolloped on homemade ice cream.
If canning isn’t your thing (yet), you can store the preserves in glass jars in the fridge. It’ll probably last a few weeks.
5 pounds (7-8 cups) sweet cherries, pitted
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
Teeny dash of kosher salt
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, sterilize and prep jars and lids.
Ladle cherries and the thickened juice into four 8 oz jars. I added a few drops of lemon juice to each jar – even though cherries are quite acidic. Process for 10 minutes.
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