Friday, 18 July 2008

Canned (Bottled) Cherries

Sour cherries are the best cherries! At least if you want to cook or bake with them, can them or dry them. Their zingy flavour stands up well to those kinds of rough treatment; in fact it just gets better. I love cherries, and this way I can eat a few all winter. They are great on pudding or ice-cream. I won't get to do much canning this year because we are moving, but I insisted on canning a batch of cherries.

10 500-ml jars, if the pits are left in
8 500-mil jars, if the pits are removed
2 hours

Canning Cherries - Pick Over the Cherries
First, the cherries need to be picked over and have all the stems, leaves, blossom bits and bad cherries removed. They should then be washed and drained well.

Canning Cherries - Make the Syrup
While the water heats to sterilize the canning jars, make the syrup.

The Canned or Bottled Cherries
After the sterilized jars are filled with cherries and syrup, they are processed in a boiling water bath, then taken out to seal and cool before being packed away. Below is my last jar from last years' batch along side one of this years' batch. A year is about as long as you should keep canned produce.

A Jar of Cherries From This Year and Last Year
6 quarts (7 litres) sour cherries

Put as many jars as fit comfortably into your canner into your canner, and add water to cover them by an inch at least. Bring them to a boil, and boil 10 minutes.

Make the syrup, and let it steep while you proceed.

Meanwhile, de-stem the cherries, discarding any lingering leaves and old blossoms as well as any bad or damaged cherries. Wash them well. You may pit them if you are so inclined.

Put the lids and rims into a pot, covered with water, and bring them to a boil. Boil 5 minutes.

When the jars are sterilized, remove them from the canner, emptying the water back in as you take them out. Put them on a clean towel or board to work. Fill them quickly with the raw cherries. You should pack them in fairly firmly. Ladle a scant 1/2 cup of hot syrup into each jar of cherries. Seal them with the lids and rims. Put them back into the boiling water canner, and boil for 15 minutes. Remove the jars from the canner, and let them cool before wiping the jars, labeling them and putting them away.

You will need to repeat all this with however many jars you have left to fill that didn't go into the canner in the first batch.

2 cups honey
4 cups water
2 or 3 4" cinnamon sticks
2/3 cup fresh lime juice

Put the honey and water into a pot with the cinnamon sticks, broken up. Bring to a boil and boil for a minute or two. Turn off the pot. Cover and let it steep while the jars are being sterilized.

When you are ready to fill the jars, fish out the bits of cinnamon. Bring the syrup back up to a boil. Add the lime juice.


giz said...

I really like that you used honey instead of white sugar. I can somehow justify honey. There's something for you on our blog.

Maggie said...

Ugh, I had the worst experience canning cherries. I let the jars cool too much and they shattered when I added the hot cherries.

The honey and lime sound great!

Ferdzy said...

Yeah, Maggie, with any canning recipe you have to watch that the temperatures inside and outside of the jars aren't too extremely different.

So let me add: your cherries must not be chilled - they should be at a warm room temperature, the syrup needs to be hot - right off the boil, and the jars must be lidded and put back into the boiling water bath PROMPTLY.

Otherwise, as noted, you can have a nasty experience.

Ferdzy said...

Also, Giz - thanks for the award. I really appreciate it, especially the very kind words that went with it. Unfortunately I am waaay too busy right now to pass it one. But thanks so much for thinking of me!