Canning Sour Cherries
Canning Sour Cherries
Canning sour cherries is a great way of preserving fresh cherries for months on end. When you think about it, cherries have a relatively short window of harvest, so much so that finding your regular fix of cherries away from the harvest months can be a challenging predicament. In fact, in many parts of the world, people are forced to resort to enjoying cherry pills for health benefits because there are no sound alternatives to preserving cherries. This is where the value of canning sour cherries comes in handy.
Canning sour cherries is a very easy thing to do and it can be done with the simplest of kitchen tools at a time when you have an excess of sour cherries. Just follow these simple procedures so you can preserve your very own supply of cherries for the whole year.
1. Prepare the necessary ingredients and paraphernalia needed for the canning process. This would include sterilized jars, lids and rings, a canner preferable of the hot water bath variety, cherry pitter, and spoons for stirring the cherries.
2. Pitting the cherries is purely a personal preference and one can always choose to can the cherries as is. However, if one would want to pit the cherries prior to canning sour cherries, it is best to do so while the cherries are in the can in order to prevent the cherry juice from splattering and causing stains. Modern cherry pitters do a wonderful job of pitting cherries at a relatively fast pace so 15 pounds of cherries should not take more than a couple of hours to go through for pitting.
3. When the cherries have been pitted, canning sour cherries can begin in earnest. The first step is to add your preferred syrup to flavor the cherries as well as act as a medium for preservation. Common choices include apple juice, water, white grape juice, or even your own homemade syrup. Syrup can be made by dissolving 5 and a quarter cups of sugar in 7 and three-quarters cup of lukewarm water.
4. Leave sufficient room at the top of the jar to ensure that a layer of air is available. However, proper precautions should be taken so that there is no leak. This can be done by using a ring or a cloth placed over the mouth of the jar before fitting the lid snugly. Ingress of air can compromise the cherries and cause them to rot. When canning sour cherries, it is but normal to expect that the tighter seal to preserve the cherries the longest.
5. Next the sealed jars need to be put in a pressure canner for further sterilization. This step is optional but recommended. Your grandmother probably just sealed the jars and that was it. However, without this step there is a chance the cherries will become contaminated. If you have a pressure canner just follow directions for your model.
So, instead of buying preserved cherries from the supermarket, why not try to learn canning sour cherries at home? Not only are you sure what goes into the jar, but it is also a great way to save money without compromising the family’s health and nutrition. It’s a tremendous opportunity to hit two important family goals at once and it is readily available simply by learning the process of canning sour cherries.