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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2010 Harvest Kickoff!

Today is the first day of canning for this growing season!!

A local lady has connections to the fruit truck deliveries from British Columbia each summer and into the fall months. Every couple weeks or so now there will be a different fruit on their truck, and we preorder about a week prior to delivery. This week's delivery was BC Cherries. YUM!

My boys absolutely L-O-V-E canned cherries. They'll eat them fresh too, but if given a choice of any home canned fruit, they pick cherries every time. I bought a 20lb case of cherries last night, and today I canned 14 pints of cherries, 2 quarts of pie filling and even had a good bowlful leftover to munch on fresh. I'm thinking now I should have ordered 2 cases, as I know how fast these will fly off the shelves!

These aren't my own recipes but ones I've gotten out of published cookbooks, so I will post specifics regarding the books.

Cherry Pie Filling
(Company's Coming Preserves Revised Edition, pg 102, c1994)

2lbs fresh pitted cherries (about 6 cups)
1 tbsp water
1 cup white sugar
2 tbsp minute tapioca
1/4 tsp almond flavoring

Place all 5 ingredients in large pot. Stir as you bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Pack fruit into hot sterilized quart jar to within 1" of top. Fill with juice to within 1/2" of top. Secure lid.

Process in boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Makes 1 quart, enough for one 9" pie. Repeat for as many jars as you like.

And for canning cherries in syrup, I use the Medium Syrup below:

Hot Pack Syrup
(Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving, pg 38, c1995)

Medium Syrup, approx 30% sugar:
7 Pint Jars requires approximately 4 cups water + 1 3/4 cups white sugar

I typically Hot Pack cherries so they have a longer shelf-life.
"In hot packing, the prepared fruit is added to the boiling syrup or liquid. The mixture is brought back to a boil and simmered for a few minutes." I go one step more and process the pints in a boiling water bath for about 5 minutes. It's not in the original recipe, but since I have the canner full of boiling water to sterilize the jars, it couldn't hurt to process for even 5 minutes. Usually within 20 minutes of removing the jars, I can hear the seals "popping". I love that sound!

I really should have taken pictures throughout the process but Dave was in the field (and don't forget the repair shop too!) today so my photographer was busy elsewhere. If my hands weren't dripping with cherry juice I would have taken them myself ;)

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