black cherry preserves

william over ordered the cherries for a cocktail party last week, next day ecoh kitchen was faced with dealing with the pile of left over cherries. i decided to preserve them... i suppose this is the most logical way to deal with 6 kilos of left-over cherries. gotta thx ariel for pitting them... the hardest part of preserving. the result was great, can't wait to try them on panna cotta, cheesecake or vanilla ice cream.

what would i do differently next time?
use a little less water. (the recipe below is the adjusted version)
will i make this again?
yes, when cherries are cheap and in season. it's much better then your average store bought version. and it's much easier then i envisioned.
what to serve this with?
to make cherry pie... serve it over vanilla ice cream, panna cotta, yogurt mascarpone mix, or just yogurt... maybe even roasted pork chop. the juice is great as a drink, serve with lemon and sparkling water.
no need to run out to buy a cherry pitter if you don't have one. a small star pastry tip (3/16 ") or a smooth round pastry tip(3/16") will do the trip. The sharp tip, is placed point upward on a work surface, and the cherry is pushed over it, stem end down. OR fitting the pastry tip over your thumb and put the pit out from the pit end. either way, it works well. Cherry pitter has one of the narrowest roles among kitchen gadgets. By using the pastry tip, it leaves you with one less thing to have to stuff in the kitchen.
i love the hint to almond extract, it's inspired by the bioborn cherry + almond lemonade i had in frankfurt last month.


black cherry perserve

2 kg firm- ripe dark sweet cherries
2/3 cup water
6 cups sugar
2/3 strained fresh lemon juice
10 drops almond extract (optional)

heavy bottom pot
cherry pitter or pastry tip (see above for tips for pitting cherries)
water canner or a large pot to boil the filled jars and sterilize the jars
heat proof spatula for stirring
jars for canning

Wash and dry the cherries. Stem and remove the pits, saving any juice. Please see above under "TIPS?" for cherry pitting how to.

Combine the cherries and it's juice with water in a large, heavy- bottomed pot. Cook the cherries over low heat, covered, until the cherries have shriveled and given up a good deal of juice, about 30 - 40 minutes. Set a colander over a large bowl and pour the cherries and the juice into it to drain off all juice. Reserve the juice and cherries.

Pour the juice back into the pot, add lemon juice and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Boil the syrup hard for 2 minutes. Remove any foam if there's any.

Add the cherries into the juice. Shake the pot slightly to mingle them with the syrup. Remove from the heat, cover with a cloth, and set aside overnight or for up to 24 hours.

To sterilize jars, submerge clean ones in boiling water for ten minutes. Use new lids, and sterilize them according to manufacturer's instructions. Jars should remain in hot water until they are ready to be filled. Here for more canning guidelines.

Return the cherries and syrup to the pot, over medium-high heat, and bring the mixture to a full boil, stirring the cherries gently with a spatula. Boil the mixture hard until the syrup register at 220F / 104C. Do not over cook.
Remove from the heat and add almond extract. Skim off any foam and stir the cherries gently.

Ladle the hot preserves into the sterilize jar 1 at a time, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe the jar rim with a clean, damp cloth. Close lid. Fill and close the remaining jars. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.


  1. This is great!! Thanks for sharing y'all! :)

  2. Anonymous7/3/09 15:44

    the juice part with sparkling water is super good :0
    fresh cheerry soda!!!!!!

  3. Wow! Can't wait until we start getting cherries in season, they have to be my favourite fruit by far. This will recipe will definintely be made this summer.

    The almond extract: inspired!