A sour cherry preserves recipe by Kevin West, from his book, Saving the Season. We tried to follow it for our first sour cherry harvest, but alas, ended up winging it a bit. Find our post here: Sour Cherries in Syrup: The First Harvest.
- 5 pounds sour cherries, pitted
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 8 ounces apple jelly or red currant jelly
- Optional: 2 tablespoons kirsch
- Combine the cherries and the lemon juice in a ceramic mixing bowl, and stir in the sugar. Allow to macerate for several hours or overnight. If overnight, refrigerate and press parchment paper or plastic wrap onto the fruit's surface to prevent browning.
- Strain the fruit-sugar mixture through a colandar and catch the syrup in a bowl. Allow to drip for 15 minutes. In a preserving pan, reduce the syrup over high heat until thickened, about 6 to 8 minutes after it has first come to a boil. Stir in the jelly until it dissolves. Add the cherries, and reduce over high heat another 3 to 5 minutes, the check the gel set. Stir in the kirsch, if using.
- Turn off the heat, and allow to cool for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the fruit is evenly distrubuted throughout the syrup. Ladle the hot preserves into four prepared 1/2-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Seal and prcoess in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.