Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sour Cherries: Can Them

I know for some of you sour cherry season has passed and I apologize.  There is so much going on it's hard to keep up and post about it all.  I'll file this on the Preserving page and maybe you can try it next year.

Two years ago, when we were swimming in sour cherries, I canned some in addition to freezing them.  I just wanted to try it and fully expected to use the canned cherries for pies and desserts.  Then, one day as I was making the kids lunch I realized I didn't have any applesauce thawed for them.  I went into the pantry and eyed those cherries.  They wouldn't eat sour cherries, would they?  Especially since I used extra light syrup, right?  Well, I gave them some and they gobbled them up.  Gobbled.  Them.  Up.  I just stood there with my mouth wide open.  Sour cherries are sour, but they didn't seem to notice.

So, now I can sour cherries for my kids.  And since I use extra light syrup I don't feel bad about it.  Cherries are very good for you, you know.

Canning Sour Cherries
If you're new to canning, please read this post about canning prep and method before you even think about beginning.  I'm just looking out for you.

8-10 pounds sour cherries, washed and pitted (8 pounds makes about 5 quarts)
1 batch of syrup, made of sugar and water (sugar amount will depend on which syrup you make- see the chart below)

The method is quite simple and very similar to canning other fruits, like peaches and pears.  Ready your fruit. 

Make a syrup which consists of water and sugar by bringing the two to a boil together in a large saucepan, stirring it until the sugar has completely dissolved.  You get to decide how sweet you want your syrup to be by following this chart.  Each row is considered one batch.  If you find you don't have enough syrup for some reason, just half or quarter the syrup recipe and mix up some more.
Please ignore my pencil markings.  Particularly where my math is wrong.  This chart comes from The Ball Complete Book of Home Canning.

Pack your ready jars with the cherries, making sure to tap the jar on the counter to help the cherries settle (so you can add a few more).  Add the hot syrup, making sure to leave an inch of head space at the top of each jar (this means that there are no cherries and no syrup in that top inch of space- just air).

Wipe, lid and ring your jars and process them in boiling water for 25 minutes.

Then try them out on your kids.
Pin It


  1. We used to buy frozen sour cherries from an Amish grocery when we lived in Iowa. We loved them for pies! Wish I could find some fresh ones somewhere. I'm in Indiana - I don't know when they would be ready here - do you think the time has already come and gone?

  2. They sound very good, I tend to shy away from canning, I do mostly freezing now, can you freeze them the same way? Hugs Barbara

  3. Oh my goodness, you took me way back to youthful days. We had a sweet cherry tree and a sour cherry tree. Mom made me go out and pick then she canned sour cherries. I helped pit them all too. Funny I don't remember her making pies or jams, just the picking and preparing. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  4. Barbara, Here is my post on freezing them- they freeze really well.

    Judi, They are past in Virginia- I'm not sure how our climates compare:-.

  5. Beautiful! We just made a cherry cobbler and it is sitting cooling on the stove. We can't wait for it to cool down so we can eat it!!!!! Your pic's are beautiful!

  6. I sure wish we'd get enough to can. I put up 5 2-cup bags this year and made a cobbler. But last year we didn't get any so that's an improvement and it's only one tree. Our two other ones are youngins we planted so it'll be awhile. Oh how I love sour cherries. Beautiful pictures.

  7. Have you made this with the honey variation, and if so how does it compare in sweetness to the light syrup? I try not to use too much sweetener in this house, but we have moved to a house with a big tart cherry tree in the backyard. If the birds don't beat us to them, I expect we will have a large harvest in a few weeks.

  8. I tried your sour cherry canning recipe. It was really easy and I am thrilled with the results. Thank you for making canning less intimidating!

  9. How did you get the pits out so neatly?

    1. We have a cherry pitter like this one- it works like a charm and is so easy the kids can help:-).


Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

Please choose the Anonymous option if you prefer not to sign in to comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails