I enjoy preserving the “fruits” of the season…drying, canning, freezing. My favorite is canning. There is something so special about preparing the fruits and vegetables, the hot water steaming, filling the jars, and knowing in the middle of winter you have saved some of the summer. Here is a recipe for Brandied Cherries.
4 pounds of dark sweet cherries (about 9 cups after pitting)
2 ¼ cups of sugar
¼ cup of lemon juice
¾ cup of seven year old apple brandy
1. Stem rinse and pit the cherries
2. Combine cherries and their juice with the sugar and lemon juice in a nonreactive large pot. Heat the mixture over medium heat, occasionally stirring until the sugar is dissolved into a smooth syrup and the cherries are hot throughout. Do not boil the mixture. Remove from heat and stir in brandy.
3. Pack cherries in hot sterilized jars with a slotted spoon. Ladle hot syrup over cherries leaving about ¼” headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece cap. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. Let set 12 hours then check the seal.
4. Cool and label. Store in a cool cupboard for at least 2 weeks before opening.
Adapted from: “Ball Blue Book of Preserving” First published in 1909 and “The Good Stuff Cookbook” by Helen Witty, 1997.