Last month, the folks from the Northwest Cherry Growers sent me 18 pounds of sweet cherries (it’s my 8th year participating in their Sweet Preservation Canbassador program). After eating a couple pounds in a single sitting, I got down to the work of preserving. I made some whole fruit preserves, cherry and Meyer lemon marmalade, a batch of cherry and black raspberry jam, some cherry ketchup, and used up the rest in a mixed fruit jam.
I managed to share the recipe for the Spiced Cherry Preserves and then totally lost my blogging mojo. So this week, I’m going to try and make up for lost time while fresh cherries can still be had. I’ll link up this post as I get the recipes published. Here’s the first one.
A few notes. The recipe calls for pitted cherries, but you can also use the technique described here if you want an easier route to getting those pits out. If you’re not sure what you would do with cherry ketchup, know that it’s delicious on burgers and with roasted sweet potatoes. And if you’ve got them, feel free to use fancy sauce bottles, as described in this post.
Sweet Cherry Ketchup
- 8 cups pitted cherries approximately 5 pounds cherries, to start
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup honey
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 lemon zested
- Prepare a boiling water bath canner and 6 half pint jars.
- Combine the cherries, vinegar, honey and brown sugar in a large pot and stir to combine. Place over high heat and bring to a vigorous boil.
- Once it is bubbling madly, reduce the heat to a medium and cook at a low boil for approximately 30 minutes, until the fruit is quite soft.
- Remove the pot from the heat and puree the fruit mixture. An immersion blender is the easiest way, but you can also transfer it to a blender. Take care not to splash yourself with hot liquid during this process.
- Return the blended fruit to the pot and add the ground cinnamon, ginger, salt, cloves, garlic, cayenne, and lemon zest.
- Cook, stirring regularly, for an additional 30-45 minutes, until the fruit seems quite thick (remembering that it will thicken more as it cools). Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. If the ketchup is making a splashy mess, set a splatter screen across the top of the pot.
- Funnel the finished ketchup into the prepared jars.
- Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.
- When the time is up, remove the jars and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. When the jars have cooled enough that you can comfortably handle them, check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.