Sunday, June 30, 2013

Canning season - Cherry Jelly

Cherry Jelly, J.Stahl 2013

Our cherries have definitely become ripe, and I've decided to begin canning. I've done some canning before, so  I had an idea of what I was getting into. My husband however, not so much.

I'd picked about 16 cups of cherries (also known as about 3 inches worth of the bottom of a laundry basket) and had those soaking in water for 24 hours.  I don't know about the cherry species in the US and Canada, but I found out rather quickly that here in Germany, if you don't want extra protein - do go ahead and make sure you do this step.   There were lots of little worms that came out in this process.

I decided to divvy up our cherries once they'd been processed in water and pitted - and we've gone ahead and made jelly, maraschino cherries and cherry pie filling. I'll be blogging about that later.

Processing Jelly is rather simple actually.  Since I have some issues of arthritis in my hands and wrists from a couple car accidents, I decided to skip the mashing step and just process the cherries in the food processor.  I was doing this late at night, so I forgot to take a photo. I was trying to be quick and quiet.

The next step was getting some wonderful music going while reading through the recipe and processing everything.  This was very easy. 

6 cups cherry juice (mashed cherries)
1 3/4 cups water
1 (3 ounce) package dry pectin
7 3/4 cups sugar 

Canning Jar Lids, J.Stahl 2013
Canning Jars, prior to sterilization, J.Stahl 2013
While the jam was jamming (haha), I went ahead and started sterilizing the half pint jars I'd washed in the dishwasher.  This is a tedious step, but very worthwhile.  My husband hadn't ever canned before, so we traded off once I got lids finished, and he cleaned the lips of the jars.

We had a nice long laugh about jar lips at this point. We were having more fun than was appropriate!!

Our thought process went something like this:

We then quickly descended into asking "WHO WANTS TO COLOR THE LIPSSSSSS!?!"

TB, Dancing in the kitchen, J.Stahl 2013

So, at this point, I'm getting ridiculously silly and we're dancing to music, and my youngest came in to join in on the crazy, never realizing that we're actually working in the kitchen.


Once we had the water bath complete, we set everything up on a doubled up, thick towel - and voilá, easy-peasy jelly.  We've given a jar to our neighbor already, which I hope they like. It was delicious on toast this afternoon!

Finished product, J. Stahl 2013
Don't just take my word for it, give it a shot and let me know how you liked making your own gluten free, kosher, cherry jelly.

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