Two weeks ago my dad and his sweetie picked pie cherries. Their season is so very short that it is important to get them at once, or else there will be no cherry pie in the winter. Or, more accuarately, we would have to buy pre-made cherry pie filling. Anyway, the cherries were picked and pitted, then frozen until there was time to deal with them. We got them right as we were getting home from Faire and dealing with head colds and laundry mountian. Not a good time for canning.
We also added a flat of bing cherries to the freezer – some frozen for eating and smoothies and whatnot, some dried, and some saved for cherry jam.
I looked at the calendar and realized that today was cherry canning day. So we defrosted the cherries and got to work.
|Pot o’ Cherries|
There were too many cherries for the usual pot. We had to get out the five-gallon brewing kettle.
|Brother-Bug stirring in the sugar.|
I reduced the amount of sugar reccommended by 1/2 cup per quart of cherries. I figure that you can always add more sugar later, but it’s really hard to take sugar out.
|Cherry pie filling going into jars.|
|Jam in the jam pot.|
The jam is approximately 1/2 pie cherries, 1/2 bing cherries, sugar to taste, a dash of lemon, and some pectin. I whizzed the cherries up in the food processor before I put them in the pot.
|Sister-Bug eating the skimmed foam from the jam. She approves.|
The jam went into jars and into the water bath as well. I saved some cherries out for making some fruit leather, but that is a project for another day.
|The day’s bounty|
At the end I have 7 quarts of pie cherries and 10 1/2-pints of cherry jam. And a dream of cherry pie on a dull day in mid-winter.
And one of my favorite things about a can of cherries? I think they look like I’ve been pickling the hearts of evil gnomes. Macabre, but true. And so tasty.