Homemade Cherry Preserves

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.

Cherry Preserves

5 pounds (7-8 cups) sweet cherries, pitted

1 cup sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use homemade vanilla extract)

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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3 Comments for this entry

  1. Liz says:

    I love to can also, started about 5 years ago and it is so relaxing! We just picked up 20 lbs cherries from our local farm and I’m canning today. Thanks to you, I bought Tart and Sweet this spring and I am trying the savory preserves, too! I’ve been loving that cookbook- thanks for the tip. Can’t wait for warm cherry torte for dessert tonight, too! Yum! 🙂

  2. danielle sell says:

    Have you ever tried jarring tomatoes? My aunt did it last summer with her homegrown roma tomatoes, just peeled and chopped in their own juices topped off with water and they are AMAZING!!! So much better than any store-bought tomatoes I’ve ever had. Going to try to make them myself this summer!

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