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When there is a great deal on cherries at the local grocery store, I buy a flat. Sometimes, if we are on a road trip, I can find a good deal.
For canning cherries, water bath preserving is used. It makes for a pretty easy job. Want to learn about canning cherries at home? Read on!
We like to use sweet cherries for our canning. Some people prefer Morello cherries, which are somewhat sour. I have not seen Morello cherries available here.
We will never bother with planting cherry trees here. We have planted apple trees and enjoy harvesting those every year. But cherry trees?
No! We have so many birds here, not only all the birds that come to the Valley to lay their eggs and teach their babes to fly, but also ravens.
Big, big ravens. Ravens that like to hang out in trees close to the barn where they can look into the chicken run to see if there is any food laying there.
Birds of all kinds also love fruit trees! It is so hard to keep the birds out of the fruit trees.
I don’t have time nor the inclination to spend putting nets over fruit trees here. And that includes cherry trees. So I am a buyer of grocery store cherries.
How to Water Bath Can Cherries
Give them a good washing – I like to soak them for a little while. Then I let the water drain out, fill the sink again and give them a final rinse.
When I’m happy with how clean they are, I start pulling off the stems. I do NOT pit them.
Since I am going to use a hot pack and they are going into the canner, I don’t want them getting too soft and mushy.
I want them to retain their nice shape and we just remove the pit as we eat them.
If you want to use a cherry pitter tool, go for it! If you are canning cherries for pie filling, you will need to pit the cherries first.
I put pint jars into the now boiling water in the canner. They get sterilized for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, I have a sugar syrup warming up and I will add this liquid to the jars before canning.
Simple Syrup Recipe
For the simple syrup, here are the measurements to make seven quart size jars:
- 8 1/4 cups water
- 3 3/4 cups sugar
Heat this on the stove, stirring occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, you can heat the cherries in this mixture before placing in jars for canning.
Add enough syrup to each jar to completely cover the cherries, and leave 1/2 inch headroom. Water bath can for 20 minutes; remove jars and let sit in a draft free place for 24 hours.
Do not touch the jars, just leave alone to seal and cool. After 24 hours you can check that your jars have all sealed then place in your food pantry.
If you have any jars that have not sealed you can can them again (just redo the water bath part) OR place the jar in the fridge and eat within a few days.
Using Tattler Lids and Seals
While my jars are being sterilized and the berries are warming, I get my Tattler lids and seals ready by immersing them in hot water for 10 minutes.
If you’ve never used Tattler products, you should! These completely reusable lids and seals will last for years.
You will not be disappointed with your canning if you use their lids and seals; they are wonderful.
Once the jars are sterilized, remove them from the canner and fill them with your warm cherries, leaving 1/2 an inch headroom.
Ladle the syrup over top and then wipe the rims of the jars.
Process the jars in your water bath canner for 15 minutes.
After the water bath canning:
If I have used the Tattler lids and seals, I immediately tighten them. Do this as soon as you remove the jars from your canner!
I leave the rings in place until at least 24 hours after canning. Since I can reuse the rings, I put my jars away sealed but without the rings.
Here is the finished result. Don’t they look beautiful? I did some pints but also some half pints. They are great for Graham to take to work and snack on. We’ll be enjoying these cherries this winter.
The Ball Blue Book of Canning is a fantastic resource – whether you are a beginner or an expert with canning.
Grab a copy, read it through, find some great canning recipes and know you are canning safely.
Want to make your own Salsa? Read here – there’s a great Salsa recipe and the whole process for canning them.
Want to find out which are The 5 Easiest Vegetables to Grow?
Grab the free download available only to subscribers!
originally published 2012; updated June 2o21