Guide To Prepare Sour Cherry Recipes For Canning Simple

Posted on

Sour cherries, with their vibrant crimson color and tart flavor, are a summertime treat. But what happens when the season ends and those delicious cherries are gone? Canning! Canning is a fantastic way to preserve the taste of summer and enjoy these delightful fruits throughout the year. This guide dives into everything you need to know about canning sour cherries, including two delicious recipes: a simple sour cherry syrup pack and a decadent sour cherry pie filling. Let’s get started!

Understanding Sour Cherries

Sour Cherry Pie Filling for Canning - Sustain My Cooking Habit
Sour Cherry Pie Filling for Canning – Sustain My Cooking Habit

Sour cherries, also known as tart cherries or pie cherries, are a distinct variety of cherry known for their high acidity and lower sugar content compared to sweet cherries. This characteristic makes them perfect for canning, as the acidity helps create a naturally acidic environment that inhibits bacterial growth, crucial for safe food preservation.

There are several varieties of sour cherries, each with slightly different flavors and characteristics. Some popular options for canning include Montmorency, Balaton, and Early Richmond.

Equipment You’ll Need

Before diving into the recipes, ensure you have the necessary equipment for safe and successful canning:

Canning kettle: A large pot with a tight-fitting lid, deep enough to completely submerge your jars for processing.

  • Canning jars: Choose pint or quart-sized canning jars depending on your preference. Opt for brand new lids and rings for each canning session.
  • Jar lifter: This tool helps safely remove hot jars from the canning kettle.
  • Headspace tool: This tool helps measure the proper amount of headspace (empty space) at the top of the jar, crucial for safe sealing.
  • Canning funnel: This wide-mouthed funnel helps prevent spills when filling your jars.
  • Non-reactive pot: A separate pot for preparing your cherry syrup or filling.
  • Large pot holders: Thick pot holders are essential for safely handling hot jars and lids.

  • Preparing Your Cherries

    1. Wash and Sort: Rinse the cherries thoroughly under cool running water. Remove any stems and leaves, discarding any bruised or damaged fruit.
    2. Pitting: There are several cherry pitters available, or you can use a chopstick or a straw to remove the pits manually.

    Canning Recipes

    Now that you have your equipment and prepared cherries, let’s explore two delicious canning recipes:

    Sour Cherry Syrup Pack (Simple and Versatile)

    Ingredients:

    4 cups pitted sour cherries

  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups granulated sugar

  • Directions:

    1. Prepare the syrup: In a non-reactive pot, combine water and sugar over medium heat. Stir continuously until the sugar dissolves completely, bringing the mixture to a simmer.
    2. Fill the jars: Pack the pitted cherries into clean, sterilized jars, leaving ½ inch of headspace at the top.
    3. Pour the syrup: Ladle the hot syrup over the cherries, ensuring all the fruit is covered. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean cloth to remove any syrup residue.
    4. Process the jars: Following the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific canning jars and lids, process the filled jars in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes (adjust for altitude if necessary).
    5. Cool and store: Carefully remove the jars from the canner and let them cool completely at room temperature for 12-24 hours. Check the seal by pressing down on the lid – it should not budge. Store your canned sour cherries in a cool, dark pantry for up to a year.

    Sour Cherry Pie Filling (Sweet and Decadent)

    Ingredients:

    4 cups pitted sour cherries

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup water (optional)

  • Directions:

    1. Prepare the filling: In a large pot, combine pitted cherries, ¾ cup sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble.
    2. Adjust sweetness: Taste the filling and add additional sugar, ¼ cup at a time, if you prefer a sweeter filling.
    3. Thicken the consistency: If the filling seems too thin, create a slurry by mixing 1 tablespoon cornstarch with ½ cup water. Slowly stir this slurry into the hot filling until it reaches your desired consistency.
    4. Fill the jars: Pack the hot cherry pie filling into clean, sterilized jars, leaving ½ inch of headspace at the top.
    5. Process the jars: Following the manufacturer’s instructions, process the filled jars in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes (adjust for altitude if necessary).