"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cherries Galore!

I had the opportunity to acquire 30 pounds of fresh picked Bing cherries for a very good price. I picked them up Tuesday, and then suddenly found myself with 30 pounds of cherries. Duh. Now what to do with them? I hadn't realized how MANY cherries are involved in 30 pounds. Serious commitment here.

I started out by filling up the dehydrator with cherry halves. That didn't really make a dent. Cherries don't last too long on the counter, so I had to get all the rest finished today. I was planning on bottling them whole, pits and all. Then it occurred to me that no one in our family will likely eat bottled cherries. What a watse. So I got the grand idea to make jam and syrup.

I found some great recipes online and dug right in. Thirteen hours later...
Click HERE for the recipe I used for the syrup. The only change was that I blended the cherries in the blender before steaming and straining them. I used all the pulp to make the fruit leather. Both the syrup and the leather turned out great! 16 cups of cherries made 12 pints of syrup and 21 fruit rolls.

I put together a couple of recipes for the jam. This is what I ended up using. It is SOOOOO delicious. I would have made more of them into jam, but I ran out of pectin. Here is my recipe:


10 cups washed, stemmed and pitted cherries. (Halved or chopped)
1 cup lemon juice
1 TB almond extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 packages dry pectin
9 cups sugar

Place all ingredients but sugar into a large stockpot. Bring the mixture to a boil that cannot be stirred down. Immediately add the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue boiling for 2 minutes. Skim mixture. Pour hot into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath. Yields about 5 to 6 pints.

And the carnage:

By the way, I could not find a cherry pitter anywhere, so I pitted those babies BY HAND the old-fashioned way. My hands may never recover. Apparently cherries stain.

I think I might be crazy. I don't know what possesses me to take on projects like this. I admire those fabulous ladies that do this kind of stuff all the time. I'm glad the cherries are finally finished! It's a good feeling to see those pretty bottles of jam and syrup on my shelf. And they taste pretty great too...


Sally said...

Wow - what a task. Now I'm craving cherries...

Melissa said...

Impressive!! And all before midnight! So are you ready to plant a cherry tree? Great job!

jess said...

looks delightful and yummy!

Sharon said...

wow! thay all look so good! i might have to come over and try some:)

jennie said...

Britt, I'm SO impressed. Wish you lived here and we could can lots of beautiful things together!

Brittany said...

Wow impressive! I don't can...therefore have no idea what a lot of that means. But it all looks so yummy...especially the fruit leather.

Brooklyn said...

So many memories! My grandparents had cherry orchards growing up so the pix bring me back. Awesome!

Shannon said...

Wow! You are sooo ambitious. My cherries are almost ready to pick off my tree. I'll have to try some of your recipes, I might need to call ya though, I've never canned anthing by myself! Looks great!