Monday, July 26, 2010

CSA Week 6: Tart Cherries

As our weekly CSA bounty grows more plentiful, so do my CSA recipe posts!

This week we received 5 pounds of Door County tart cherries. Normally, we just gobble up all the fruit from our fruit share, but tart cherries don't exactly snack well. And since it's hot as hell and I don't really feel like baking right now, I decided to take my first tentative steps into canning.

Cherry Pie Filling in a Jar

Makes 2 quarts

10 c. cherries, washed and pitted
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. sugar
6 T. cornstarch
5 T. bottled lemon juice

1. Wash and pit the cherries, set aside. Sterilize 2 quart jars along with the lids in boiling water or in a dishwasher run without soap.

2. In a large stockpot bring the water, sugar, corn starch and lemon juice to a boil.

3. Pour in the cherries very carefully and bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring continuously with a long spoon. Keep stirring for about 5 minutes while the cherries release their juices and the mixture thickens, becoming bright red and glossy.

4. Set a funnel over a quart jar and ladle in the blueberry mixture, leaving about 1" of room at the top. Repeat with second quart jar.

5. Placed the sterilized lids on the jar and seal them with the rims, only tightening the ring as much as you can with your own hand. Do not force it.

6. Place the jars in a pot of boiling water standing on end. Make sure the water covers the tops of the jars. Boil for 30 minutes, starting the timing when the mixture has returned to a boil after the jars have been added.

7. Remove jars and place in a cool, dry place on a kitchen towel. Allow to cool naturally for a few hours. Store jars for the long term in a cool, dry place until using.

Recipe courtesy of the Naptime Chef (originally Blueberry Pie Filling in a Jar)

Canning intimidated the hell out of me, but this was really easy. I bought simple water bath canning supplies from Fleet Farm for about $25 (canning pot, canning rack and quart jars). You could probably get by with just the jars and a large stock pot, but I wanted the handy canning rack that helps lift the jars out of the boiling water.

I didn't buy a funnel since I couldn't find one with a large enough opening for canning. I will definately get one now though... I burnt the hell out of my thumb while trying to get the hot pie filling into the quart jars. Youch.

Pitting the cherries was definately the most tedious part. It took me about 45 minutes to pit 5 pounds. You can buy a cherry pitter, but I just used a straw to poke out the pits. Tip: Wider straws work better for this. Think McDonald's size straws, or for you local folks, Leon's Frozen Custard.

1 comment:

  1. You are so good. I feel like I just keep eating all the veggies and berries so I can make sure not to waste any. I forget to make things!


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