At the risk of receiving hate mail and nasty comments, let me be honest with you for a moment. I really don’t enjoy summer. I am not a hot weather girl, and I prefer to stay cool in the shade. I am much happier in the cooler (even cold!) months of the year when I can wear boots and a sweater. I’ll take snow over hot and humid weather any day!
I think one of summer’s few redeeming qualities (and for me, they are few!) is the fresh fruit that is in season. At the top of my list are cherries. Though I often think I could live in a climate with no summers, I do think I would miss the cherries.
So, this year, in an effort to preserve my beloved cherries for the more preferable months of the year, I started investigating how to can cherries. I didn’t want to just make pie filling. I wanted cherries that I could bake with and create recipes with all year long. In the middle of my research, I stumbled on a recipe in Small-Batch Preserving (a favorite new book that I’d recommend if you enjoy canning!) for preserving fruits with spirits. I couldn’t get it out of my head… I was particularly intrigued with the idea of Amaretto soaked cherries. A few days later I stocked up on cherries and a bottle of Amaretto.
If you are interested in canning, but don’t have a lot of experience, this recipe is a great place to start. It’s pretty easy and yeilds a manageable four pints. You don’t have to worry about the different stages of a gel and whether or not your mixture has boiled correctly. Simply pack the jars with fruit and liquor, ladle in syrup, and process in boiling water. It’s simple. And, you will thank me later when you have lovely jars of Amaretto soaked cherries in your pantry just waiitng to be used in cobblers, crumbles, cocktails, and more!
(Yields 4 pints, adapted from Small-Batch Preserving)
- 1 lemon
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 7 cups pitted sweet cherries
- 4 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
(Whatever you like… I used Disaronno)
Prepare your boiling water canner and sterilize four pint jars, lids, and bands in the hot (but not quite boiling) water.
In the meantime, prepare the syrup. Zest the lemon, and then measure out two tablespoons of juice from the lemon. Combine the zest, lemon juice, water, and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture up to a boil to dissolve the sugar and allow to boil gently for one minute.
Pack the cherries into the hot, sterilized jars and add one tablespoon of Amaretto liqeuer to each jar of cherries. Ladle the hot syrup into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars, and fit with the lids and bands.
Process the jars in boiling water for 15 minutes.
First time canning? Be sure to check out these guidelines for boiling water canning! I have done my best to ensure that this recipe is safe for canning, and I used a reputable source. However, it is always important to double check the guidelines to make sure a recipe is safe for canning.
Please Note – The links to Small-Batch Preserving provided in this post are Amazon affiliate links.