June 08, 2021

What I did this past weekend... I had a pity party... errr... a pitting party! Yep, I canned some cherries. 9 pints of fresh cherries home canned.


If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen my little 'pity party' photo... tongue in cheek.  It was a pitting party!  But it was just me at the party.  Still, I dug in, pitted 9 lbs. of cherries.  While I was cleaning them I still hadn't made up my mind whether I was just going to freeze them or can them.  Honestly I usually just freeze them.  I LOVE frozen cherries.  You can use them for almost anything or just snack on them - and you don't have blanch them or do anything special.  You can simply and easily just freeze them.


However, I decided this time to put up some fresh cherries into cans because it's really so easy, and they only need a water bath canner; not a pressure canner.

I already did the hard part.

Pitting them all.

(Not hard, just time consuming... but once you get the process down and you lose yourself in your thoughts, it goes by really quickly.)

Wash your cherries. You'll need about 2 - 2.5 lbs. per quart.
Pit them and if you want to, you can put the pitted cherries in a bowl of water with fruit fresh or a teaspoon of citric acid in it to help the color stay bright.  If you do this, just drain your cherries when they are all finished and ready.
You can do a hot pack, raw pack or make cherry pie filling of them before canning. 
I oped for raw pack.
You can pack in water or a simple syrup.  We don't eat sugar so I was going to opt for water packed, but in the end, I used a simple syrup made with natural sweeteners.
In a pan of water add your sweetener/sugar for as strong/thick of a syrup as you wish.  I went with a very lightly sweetened syrup/water to pack - I used about 6 c water to 3/4 c sweetener.  You can find more light to heavy syrup ratios here:  link
To each hot, sterilized jar I added 1/2 cup light syrup.
Pack with cherries.
Added more liquid to fill, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Used a chopstick to debubble the jar, removing air.
Checked for headspace again. Filling if needed.
Wiped rims with a papertowel dipped in vinegar.
Topped with a lid from a lightly simmering pan of water.
Screwed on the lid.
Processed in a water bath according to the time for my altitude.
Removed them, let them cool overnight on a towel on the counter.
Checked seals (all sealed perfectly) and put up all 9 pints in my emergency storage pantry.


National Food Center for Home Food Preservation

Procedure: Stem and wash cherries. Remove pits if desired. If pitted, place cherries in water containing ascorbic acid to prevent stem-end discoloration. If canned unpitted, prick skins on opposite sides with a clean needle to prevent splitting. Cherries may be canned in water, apple juice, white-grape juice, or syrup. If syrup is desired, select and prepare preferred type as directed.

Hot pack – In a large saucepan add ½ cup water, juice, or syrup for each quart of drained fruit and bring to boil. Fill jars with cherries and cooking liquid, leaving ½-inch headspace.

Raw pack – Add ½ cup hot water, juice, or syrup to each jar. Fill jars with drained cherries, shaking down gently as you fill. Add more hot liquid, leaving ½-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process.

  Process at Altitudes of:
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 3,000 ft 3,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Pints 15 min 20 20 25
Quarts 20 25 30 35
RawPints or Quarts25303540

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