Rainier Cherry Almond Preserves

I don’t often can with Rainier cherries because they are fragile and expensive (and truly, I love eating them without any embellishments). However, I managed to get out to Rowand’s Farm in New Jersey this year while there were still some in the trees and picked enough that I felt okay about surrendering a few pounds to the canning pot.

The preservation technique for these cherries is similar to the one I use for the bourbon sour cherries I posted yesterday. The cherries are pitted and macerated with sugar. Once they’re juicy, you scrape them into a pot, add the lemon juice, and bring them to a boil.

They cook for just five or six minutes. This is long enough for the cherries to soften a bit, release the bulk of their internal air (so that they don’t float), and for the syrup to thicken a little. Once you determine that the cooking process has gone as long as is necessary, you add the almond extract so that the flavor doesn’t have time to evaporate (to make these even more closer to the sour cherries, you could use amaretto in place the extract).

Then they are ladled into jars, lidded, and processed in a boiling water bath canner. These are a treat spooned into oatmeal in the wintertime or portioned out over slices of poundcake.

Continue Reading →

Comments { 1 }

Sour Cherry Preserves with Bourbon

It’s day two of cherry week and today, I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes from my second cookbook, Preserving by the Pint. For this one, you simmer sour cherries together with sugar, lemon juice, and bourbon together for five or six minutes, until the liquid thickens a little and the cherries are just soft. The alcohol cooks off as the syrup boils, so there’s no lingering booziness, just a little extra richness that helps balance the flavor of the tart cherries.

This exact recipe doesn’t work well with sweet cherries, but one could add a splash of bourbon to this approach, to approximate the flavor.

Make sure to check back tomorrow for another recipe featuring cherries!

Continue Reading →

Comments { 5 }

Small Batch Sweet Cherry Lime Jam

To kick off Cherry Week, I’m sharing my small batch recipe for Cherry Lime Jam. This is the recipe I demonstrated last week during my livestream with Jenny from The Domestic Wildflower. This little batch cooks up in 15 minutes and yields two half pints with a little leftover for immediate eating. The flavor of the limes helps balance the intensity of the cherries and makes for a very tasty PB&J.

You can get the recipe and watch the livestream after the jump!

Continue Reading →

Comments { 18 }

Links: Goosecherry Jam, Pickled Corn, and Cherry Week

Happy Sunday, friends! Just a quick reminder that tomorrow night is Food in Jars TV night over on Facebook. I’ll be demonstrating how to make the Bourbon Sour Cherries from my second book, Preserving by the Pint at 8 pm ET/6 pm PT. These cherries come together quickly and are perfect for cocktails, serving with stinky cheeses, or eating directly from the jar with a spoon.

Now, links.

This week on the blog, look for a nonstop celebration of cherries. I’m going to be posting a new recipe every day, featuring sweet cherries, sour cherries, and Rainier cherries (by the time the week is over, I will have processed through nearly 25 pounds). While you await all these new recipes, here are some of my favorite cherry recipes from the archives.

Comments { 2 }

Honey Cinnamon Pear Sorbet

This post is sponsored by Ball® Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands.

Yesterday, I showed you how to make Honey Cinnamon Pears. A building block of the homemade pantry, these pears are great at breakfast (in oatmeal! over pancakes!), lunch (with yogurt! in a smoothie!), or dinner (sliced over salad! as dessert!).

In addition to being something that you can serve straight from the jar, home canned pears can also be a really useful ingredient in other dishes and recipes. I often puree them and use them in baked goods (the same way you would use applesauce) and I love to turn them into homemade sorbet.

With the arrival of the hot weather, I’ve got my ice cream maker out for the season and have been turning any fruit I can get my hands on into heat-beating desserts. Because the primary ingredient in this sorbet is just fruit, the finished product is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without overdoing it. Sorbet is also a really thoughtful treat to make for dinner guests who can’t eat dairy.

You start with one quart or two pints of canned fruit. In this case, I canned my pears in Ball® Sharing Jars. and so I opened up two jars (you should have approximately three cups of fruit and one cup of canning liquid). The contents of these jars goes into the blender with 1/4 cup of sugar and a couple tablespoons of lemon juice and you puree it until really smooth (really work them so that the skin gets fully pureed).

Then taste the puree to ensure that the flavors are well balanced. Add more lemon if you find that the flavor is a little flat. If you can’t taste the cinnamon as much as you’d like, add a pinch of ground. Remember also that the puree should be a little sweeter than you’d like if you were eating it at room temperature. Freezing mutes the sweetness and if you want it to taste satisfyingly sweet once frozen, the base needs to be a little extra.

Chill the sorbet base until it is quite cold. Once it is well-chilled, you pour it into an ice cream maker and freeze it until firm. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can also pour it into a loaf pan and freeze it granita-style, scraping it with a fork several times during the freezing process to help aerate and break up the mixture.

The end result is a frozen dessert that is surprisingly creamy for something that doesn’t contain any dairy. It has pleasingly mild flavor that is really refreshing and cooling. I hope you try it!

Continue Reading →

Comments { 2 }

Honey Cinnamon Pears from Ball® Fresh Preserving Products

This post is sponsored by Ball® Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands.

Last month, I teamed up with my friends at Ball®Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands to share their recipe for Mixed Berry Jam and the Jammy Baked Oatmeal that I made with it. This month, we’re talking pears.

Honey Cinnamon Pears, to be precise. In this recipe, quartered pears are briefly simmered in a syrup made from apple juice and honey before being packed into Ball® Pint Jars with a cinnamon stick, topped with the syrup, and processed in a boiling water bath. It’s a really easy and approachable recipe (no peeling!) that produces perfectly sweet pears kissed with a hint of cinnamon.

To make these pears, start by getting your jars warming in the canning pot (for this project, I used the Ball® Sharing Jars). Fit your canning pot with a rack, place the jars on top and fill both the jars and the pot halfway with water. Bring it to a simmer over low heat and keep it around 180F until you are ready to fill the jars. Wash lids and rings in hot, soapy water and set them aside.

Once your canning gear is all set, you turn your attention to the pears. Wash them well (make sure to remove any stickers!), cut them into quarters, and cut away the cores.

As you work, place the cut pears into a bowl of acidulated water (that’s a fancy word for water spiked with either lemon juice or Fruit Fresh) to prevent the pears from browning.

Once the pears are prepped, make the syrup. Combine water, apple juice, and honey in a large saucepan (you want to use something large enough to eventually hold all the pears.

When the syrup comes to a simmer, add the pears to the pot and let them stay in the syrup just until they’re heated through (too much time in the syrup will lead them to overcook and fall apart, so stay attentive).

As soon as the pears are warm, it’s time to fill the jars. Remove a single jar from the canning pot and place it on a folded towel or cutting board. Place a cinnamon stick in the bottom of the jar and funnel the warm pear quarters into the jars. Use a chopstick to help settle them into place (I found that I could get 6-7 pear quarters into each jar).

Top the pears with the syrup and remove any trapped air bubbles, taking care to maintain a headspace of 1/2 inch. Wipe the rim of the jar, place a lid on top, secure it with a ring (finger tip tight, please), get that jar in the canner, and repeat with the next jar.

These pears are good to eat with yogurt or cottage cheese. You can warm them and serve them over pancakes or waffles. Or you could turn them into sorbet. Check back tomorrow to learn how to do just that!

Continue Reading →

Comments { 1 }