|The Finished Product, Ready to Store or Share|
Recipe by Happy Girl Kitchen and Robin
My most popular post ever, referenced in the Huffington Post’s 12 Unusual Uses for Honey, is about Berries in Light Honey Sauce, adapted from a recipe from Happy Girl Kitchen. This year, since cherry season is so short, I decided to try a similar recipe to preserve some whole cherries.
The Berries in Light Honey Sauce recipe is somewhat tart, even with 10% honey plus 5% evaporated cane juice in the sauce. This tartness makes the berries work well as toppings for ice cream, chocolate cake, and other sweetened desserts, but on their own I’ve needed to add a bit of sweetener. Since the cherries will likely be eaten without accompaniments, I doubled the amount of honey in the mix to sweeten them up. I also wanted a more noticeable honey flavor in the cherries; it’s extremely subtle in the berries.
|Adding One Full Cup of Honey|
|The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly|
|Wedge Cherries Tightly Under Jar Rim|
|Pour Hot Honey from Cup with Spout|
Happy Girl Kitchen recommends eating preserved fruit within one year.
makes 5 pints
3 ½ lbs. picked-over cherries
5 cups water
1 cup honey
½ cup evaporated cane juice
Sterilize the jars by boiling in hot water, inverting, and letting air-dry. Wash and dry the cherries. Pack cherries into the jars using a firm touch, filling all the gaps that you can with appropriate-size cherries. Discard cherries that are old, split, or discolored. Fit as many cherries as you can into the bottom of the jar, packing them gently but firmly with a wooden spoon handle. Fill jar in layers of cherries. Wedge top layer under the jar neck as much as possible.
Combine water, honey, and sugar, and heat to 200 degrees F over medium heat, stirring constantly. If mixture boils up, remove from heat and reheat over lower heat till thermometer comes close to 200 degrees.
Pour hot honey syrup into jars, using a cup with a spout. Fill to about ¼ inch from the top. Wipe the top with a paper towel if you have spilled any liquid on it. Top with dry lid (use a new one, don’t recycle used lids). Screw the ring on till just barely finger-tight. Air will bubble out from the beneath the lid during processing, so give it room.
Process in hot water bath canner (or large pot of boiled water that will cover jars by at least 2 inches) at 200 degrees for 20 minutes. Keep water below the boiling point to minimize risk of sauce boiling out of the jars.
Remove from hot water and let cool. When cool enough to handle, tighten rings. When completely cool, check to be sure that each cap has “snapped” down, sealing the contents (if you can push the lid and make a snapping noise, it is not sealed).
If a jar did not seal, remove the ring and cap and wipe the top of the jar dry. Check the cap to see if it looks bent—if so replace it. If not, rinse off syrup and dry it completely. Add more honey sauce if needed, re-cap and (loosely) ring the jar, and process again in the hot water bath.
Cherry season is so short that these will make great gifts or additions to dinner parties starting in late summer.