What I did this past weekend... 9 pints of fresh cherries home canned.


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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