Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cherry Pie Filling

Makes about 4 (32 oz) quarts or 8 (16 oz) pints

15 cups red tart cherries (about 10 lbs)
3-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup ClearJel starch (maxigel or ultragel can be used as alternatives)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups juice (I used 1 cup pomegranate juice and 1 cup white peach grape juice, because that is what I had on hand. Just don't use citrus juices for this step.)
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 (32 oz) quart or 8 (16 oz) pint preserving jars

1.) Stem and pit cherries
2.) PREPARE boiling water canner.
3.) Heat jars in microwave by placing a small amount of water inside each jar and microwaving them. Pull one out at a time when you are ready to fill them. Meanwhile, boil lids for three minutes.
3.) WHISK together 2 cups juice, sugar, ClearJel and cinnamon in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil until thickened and mixture begins to bubble. Add lemon juice. Return to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add cherries all at once. Return to a boil, stirring constantly but gently. Remove from heat.
4.) LADLE hot pie filling into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
5.) PROCESS filled jars in a boiling water canner 35 minutes for pints and quarts. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. Store and enjoy!

Quick Tip: Store chocolate cake, instant chocolate pudding mix and shelf stable milk & whipping cream for Black Forest Cherry Cake!

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