There’s a cherry tree right next to the barn where we work, and it grows the BEST cherries.  They’re the really tart ones that make great pies.  Early this spring it was loaded with blooms, and just a couple of weeks ago all of those blooms had turned to bright red cherries ready for picking.  When the cherries are ripe it’s important to pick them quick, because the birds like them too.  There was plenty to go around…my mom and I both picked buckets full, Beth’s mom came and picked all that she wanted, and a couple of neighbors picked some as well.  Even after that there were still cherries left – most of them high up in the top of the tree where no one could reach.

I decided that a batch of cherry preserves was a must.  As far as jams and jellies go I’m pretty sure that cherry is my absolute favorite.  A little bit of cherry preserves on a hot buttered biscuit is like heaven in my mouth.  Really.

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{Cherry Preserves}

ingredients:

2 lbs. pitted cherries (6cups)

1 (3 1/2 ounce) box pectin

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon butter

3 cups sugar

Place the pitted cherries in a large pot.  Combine the pectin with 1/4 cup sugar and stir into the cherries.  Add butter and bring to a full boil, stirring over high heat.  Add 3 more cups of sugar and return to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat and immediately spoon preserves into sterilized jars.  Secure the lids and stand inverted for 5 minutes.  Turn upright and cool.  Refrigerate for up to three weeks, or store in the freezer for up to one year.  Thaw preserves in the refrigerator before using.

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Delicious.  And, I’ve still got a bunch of cherries in the freezer.  There’s definitely a cherry pie or two in the near future.  If anyone has other good cherry recipes to share I’d like to know.  Send them my way!

:: Carrie ::