Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Tart Cherry Preserves #FoodieExtravaganza

Every year our daughter picks all the tart cherries off of her tree and gifts them to family and friends.  She doesn't keep any for herself but she does get back tenfold in gifts back using the cherries.   This year I turned them into preserves.

Tart Cherry Preserves

I have invited the Festive Foodies to join me in Preserving Summer's Bounty........
I am very jealous of people who live in areas where they can get fresh produce year round from area farmer's markets.  I live in Michigan and our growing season is short and when harvest time comes you have more bounty than you could ever eat before it goes bad.

Our solution?  Canning, Freezing, Drying, Pickling, Smoking and otherwise preserving all the bounty the season has to offer.  A small price to pay for being able to live in such a beautiful State and having all four seasons, each with their own wonderful and amazing characteristics.

So I asked some of my fellow bloggers to join me in sharing some ideas with our readers for Preserving Summer's Bounty.  Here is what they shared......

Tart Cherries being pitted

Our daughter, Nicole is a sweetheart.  She has a huge heart and is very loving and generous.  However, I have a sneaky suspicion that generosity isn't the only reason she shares her tart cherries.  Pitting them is a pain in the you know I had her dad do it.  LOL

tart cherries

Once they are pitted you just put them in a large pot with sugar and lemon. That's it.  Just three ingredients.  Once all the ingredients are combined you let it boil for about an hour, skimming off any foam as it appears.  

I spend this time preparing my canning jars and getting the water bath ready.  I use my dishwasher to sterilize my canning jars and equipment but you can just boil some water and give everything a good dunk before placing them onto a clean towel.

Tart Cherry Preserves

Once the preserves have gelled to the "wrinkle" stage it is time to transfer them to the jars and place them in a water bath.  These preserves are wonderful served warmed over ice cream.  They are also great to use in baked goods or for sauces to complement savory dishes.

Pancakes with Tart Cherry Preserves

I served mine on top of pancakes for breakfast the next morning.  Scrumptious!!  This recipe is from Martha Stewart and makes 3 half pint jars of preserves.  

If you are a tart cherry fan and want more ideas on what to do with them you can check out some of the other recipes I have made over the years.....

Cherry Cheese Braid

The list goes on and on and can find them all by placing sour cherry in the search bar at the top of this post.

Now on to the recipe being featured today.........

Canning, Preserving, Jams, Cherries
Preserving Foods
Yield: 3 half pint jars
Author: Wendy Klik
Tart Cherry Preserves

Tart Cherry Preserves

Using only 3 ingredients these preserves are a wonderful way to use up those cherries on your tree before the birds eat them all.
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 1 H & 15 MInactive time: 24 HourTotal time: 25 H & 45 M


  • 3 lbs fresh tart cherries, stemmed and pitted
  • 2 1/2 c. sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Place 2 or 3 small plates into the freezer.  These will be needed after the preserves have cooked.
  2. In dutch oven or other large, deep pot, combine the cherries, 1/4 cup of the sugar and the lemon juice.  Cook over med-high heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves. Add sugar, in batches, 3 more times, stirring and cooking each time until sugar has dissolved.
  3. Bring the mixture to a full boil and continue to cook, stirring frequently for about an hour, until the temperature measures 220* on a candy thermometer.  While cooking remove any foam that gathers on the top before stirring.
  4. Remove one of the plates from the freeze and place a spoonful of the preserves in the center.  Return to the freezer for a minute, remove the plate and push gently on the preserves, if it wrinkles slightly it is ready to be jarred.  If not, cook the preserves for another few minutes and try the "wrinkle" test again.
  5. Once the preserves have passed the wrinkle test ladle them into  sterilized half pint jars, cover with lids and seal with rims.  
  6. Place the jars into a water bath and process for 10 minutes. Remove the jars to a towel lined counter and let cool completely at room temperature for 24 hrs.  
  7. The preserves can now be used or stored for up to one year.


Adapted from a recipe found at Martha Stewart

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  1. These preserves look delicious, Wendy! I love making jams and my kids love eating them all year round.

  2. I love these preserves. I love cherries! Cherry preserve sounds delicious and would to have with my roti.

  3. Instructions were a bit unclear as we weren't sure whether to hold it at 220° or reach it and lower back to a simmer, we did a half inch headspace from our best guess. It turned out great

    1. Thanks for the feedback Grace. I'm glad it turned out well for you. I held it at 220* but it only took the one attempt with the cold plate to see that it was ready to be jarred.


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