Homemade cherry preserves

In August I bought cherries at the farmers market. After I got them home I noticed they were baking cherries, and tasted more like cherry pie than the standard black sweet cherries I had gotten the week before. I was inspired to make cherry preserves so I could have this burst of vivid luscious cherry pie flavor all year long.

I used this recipe from Larder Love for French style cherry conserve. She says “The difference between a conserve and a jam is that the former has more whole fruit in it’s make up. Jam tends to be pieces of fruit all mushed together, whereas with a conserve you get whole fruits to bite into, in this case cherries.”

I’m not exactly sure what makes this cherry conserve recipe uniquely French, but it definitely sounds fancy.

Pitting all the cherries was hard work without a cherry pitter. My solution was to put the cherry in a narrow funnel and stab it with a chopstick to force the pit down. It was inelegant, messy and time consuming, but it worked. Next summer I should splurge and buy a cherry pitter.

Then I cooked the pitted whole cherries with sugar, lemon juice and pectin.

Then I put the cherry preserves in jars the same way as any jam. They’ll last about 8 to 12 months in the cupboard.

Eating them now on yogurt or toast is a real treat, a taste of summer in the dreary part of the year.

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