My daughter, Kim, has a sour cherry tree in her yard that is loaded with cherries this year. She told me I was welcome to have some, so I went there today and picked enough for a batch of jam and hopefully for a cherry pie for my husband, Dave, tomorrow. If I don't have enough I guess I know where I can find more because I barely tapped the amount on there. Soon the birds and squirrels will be stealing them all, so decided I better work on that today before they are long gone this year.
Here is the recipe I used for the jam. I like the taste a lot and I definitely recommend using all of the sugar it calls for as the cherries themselves are still a little tart. They might soak up more of the juice though and sweeten up as they cool. I had to try some on a piece of toast and butter and the sauce is perfect for me.
The only thing I did differently was add about 1/2 tsp (1 capful) of almond extract because I like that combination, but you don't have to do that if you don't want to. I added it when I added the last 3 cups of sugar..
I made 6 half pint jelly jars so once we open a jar it gets used quicker, but the recipe says it makes 3 pint jars, so you can decide which works better for you.
BEST CHERRY PRESERVES:
2 lbs sour cherries, pitted (about 6 cups)
1 (3-1/2 ounce) box pectin
1/2 teaspoon butter
3 cups, plus 1/4 cup sugar
1. Sterilize your jars and screw on lids and keep them hot while you're cooking the preserves. I just wash them in my dishwasher shortly before starting the process and leave them in there so they are hot. Place your lids in a small kettle with enough water to cover them and heat water to soften them.
2. Place pitted, washed, cherries in a large heavy duty dutch oven
3. Combine pectin and 1/4 cup sugar. Stir in to cherries. Add butter.
4. Bring to a full boil, stirring over high heat.
5. Add the 3 more cups of sugar and return to a rolling boil, stirring constantly for one minute.
6. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
7. Immediately spoon preserves into the sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
8. Wipe the sealing surface of the jars with a dampened paper towel to remove any preserves etc from it.
9. Place lids and screw bands on tightly.
10. Process in a canner/boiling water bath on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the boiling water and place on a bath towel to cool and seal. they should all pop and indent on their own..don't disturb them. if they don't seal place in fridge and eat. I use a jar lifter-don't burn yourself!!