We've been off the radar for a while, and I told myself I had to post about these cherries since cherry season is at it's height in the north east. For the past few months, we've been aggressively house hunting in the Hudson Valley. We've been back and forth many-a-times and finally found a house we love. Fingers crossed everything goes well (lots of paper work!). It's our dream home for sure.
In the mean time, I know our holiday season is going to be nuts with a new house and moving. So I'm taking some time out now to prepare some gifts. Giving home made gifts is a big part of our lifestyle because it's something we've made and put time into. It means more to us and hopefully the person receiving it likes it just as much! I love canning because it's handmade and I can manage my time better. I can invest two or three hours upfront, when I have time in the lazy days of summer, and save many hours later. Not to mention the stress of 'what should I get so-and-so' type thoughts.
I picked this recipe because not only is it easy, but there are many uses for the finished product. It's also one of the only things I can that my mom will call me and casually ask about. "Did you make any of those cherries?" Why yes, I did, Mom. My mom will eat them right out of the jar, however you can put them on ice cream, soak a pound cake with the syrup and top with the cherries or just use the syrup in a cocktail.
This is an easy recipe for canning whole fruit. The recipe uses a light syrup, perfect for repurposing. The booze is optional, but recommended. Make sure you have a cherry pitter on hand, while time consuming it makes for a wonderful finished product.
- 10 cups sweet cherries, pitted
- 4 cups water
- 2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon brandy for each jar (optional)
- Prepare jars in hot water bath. (If you're new to canning, I suggest reading Canning and Preserving with Ashley English for the basics of canning.)
- Prepare syrup by combining sugar and water in a large stainless steel pot. Heat and stir until all sugar has dissolved.
- Add pitted cherries to syrup and bring to a boil until cherries are heated through, about 10 minutes.
- Remove prepared jars from canner, and add brandy (or dark rum) to each jar. Add cherries and syrup, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
- Place lids and rings on jars and process 10 minutes. Let cool complete after removing from canner.
Makes seven 8-ounce jars.
TIP: If you have syrup left over, strain it and use it for cherry soda. Combine with seltzer water and sweeten to taste. A wonderful summer treat. Store syrup in fridge for about 1 week.