This is my grandmother, on my father’s side, recipe.
If you make this in a small batch they will store in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.
My grandmother always water bathed, but the process does make them soft. (they will darken and get softer). I’ve even tried soaking the cherries in slack lime (like you do for pickles), although I still didn’t really like the results.
Today I rarely can them.
This recipe is for one pint-sized jar. You can easily double or triple the recipe if you wish to make more at a time.
Makes just 1 pint-sized jar
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups fresh cherries
To each jar you may add:
1 small (or piece of) cinnamon stick
4 whole allspice
I always add:
1/4 tsp. almond extract
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water and sugar. Heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring gently.
Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
Add lemon juice and vanilla and stir again.
Wash cherries, leaving on the stems, if you like. I usually don’t since I never pick the cherries with the stems. I have to hurry to beat the birds.
Pit the cherries by hand. A cherry pitter will destroy the whole look of the cherry.
Add the cinnamon, allspice and almond extract to each jar, if you are using. I have made them all ways, but always love have the extra almond extract.
Fill your jar with the pitted cherries, leaving a 3/4 inch headspace.
Pack the cherries in tightly without smashing—you want the cherries to stay whole.
Pour in the flavored syrup, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace.
Use a knife and VERY gently go around the edges of the jar to dislodge any bubbles
Wipe the rim and place on the jar lid.
At this point, you can store the cherries in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks or water bath process them for longer storage.
Either way, the flavor will take at least 3 days to soak into the cherries and then they are ready to eat.
Water Bath Processing: For long-term storage, process the pint-size jar(s) in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. I don’t know how to adjust for your altitudes.
As always your friend,