How to Cook Fresh Cherries

...

Though fresh, sweet cherries are typically eaten raw, cooking them softens them and mellows their flavor. Cooking sour cherries with sugar sweetens them. One of the most common uses for cooked cherries is as a cherry pie filling or a cherry topping for ice cream or cake. You can eat this cherry pie filling as a topping right away, make a pie from it right away or you can preserve it by canning it using the pressure canning method. This recipe makes 1 qt., enough for an 8-inch pie.

Step 1

Rinse the cherries. Pit them by cutting them in half and using the point of a paring knife to pop the pit out.

Step 2

Combine sugar, canning starch and cinnamon in the large saucepan. Stir. Add the water and almond extract.

Step 3

Cook over medium high heat until the mixture begins to bubble. The liquid should also be thickening at this point.

Step 4

Add 1 tbsp. lemon juice. Boil the mixture for one minute. Stir constantly to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan and burning.

Step 5

Remove the saucepan from the burner. Fold in the cherries immediately. The residual heat will cook the cherries slightly. Use this pie filling immediately, refrigerate it for use in a day or two, or can it using a pressure canner.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring cups and spoons

  • 3 1/2 cups fresh sour cherries

  • Paring knife

  • Large bowl

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. canning starch

  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

  • Mixing spoon

  • 1 1/3 cups cold water or fruit juice

  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract (optional)

  • Large saucepan

  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice (split between two uses)

  • Canning equipment (optional)

Tip

Replacing the water with cherry juice makes for a richer pie filling.

If you must have extremely red cherry pie filling, you can add up to 6 drops of red food coloring to the water before adding it to the recipe.

If you like your ice cream sauce more runny, cut back on the canning starch.

Warning

Cherries tend to go off-color easily once cut open. To prevent this browning, as you pit them, put the cherries in a bowl of water to which 1 tbsp. of lemon juice has been added.

Because cherries are a low-acid food, they must be pressure canned instead of canned using the water-bath method.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.