I mentioned it before that we have a lot of cherries this year. In comparison to last year when we didn’t have any. Two years ago we had even more than now, but I think the three years before that was also bad, either nothing growing, or cherries full of worms or birds eating everything before we could pick any.
So the probability is that next year we will have nothing again, so I have to find a way of preserving what we have now. I have to admit that at the moment I am so annoyed of pitting cherries that part of me wishes to leave what’s still in the tree for the birds, but on the other side I know that if I do that I will regret it.
So I am picking and pitting and conserving one way or another. I made cherry butter, 3 kinds of cherry jam, lacto-fermented cherry salsa, cherry compote and this simple cherries preserved in water, which I can use over the next couple of years either for cakes or cherry sauce or any other kind of dessert. People normally preserve sour cherries this way, but I have been preserving my sweet cherries like this for years now and I love it.
It is so easy and quick, the only thing a bit annoying about it is – again- pitting the cherries. All you need is jars, choose the size that you like, I take mostly pint jars, they normally hold as many cherries as I need for a cake or for a good portion of cherry sauce.
This method is also great because you need very little sugar. 1 tablespoon is enough for me, you can take 2 if you wish, but I don’t find it necessary. I have used the same method to can sour cherries and gooseberries as well.
- 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar for each jar
- pint jars
- Clean the jars thoroughly and sterilize them.
- Pitt the cherries but leave them whole.
- Add the cherries to the jars leaving about 1 inch of space at the top. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons sugar to each jar (to taste).
- Pour water in each jar to completely cover the cherries. Seal the jars.
- Take one very large pot. Place a clean kitchen towel inside. Put so many jars in the pot as they fit, taking care that they don't touch each other. Pour warm (but not too hot water) in the pot. The jars should be halfway immersed in the water. Bring the water to a boil and boil the jars for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Take the jars out immediately and leave them to get cold. Store in a cool, dark place (I keep them in the cellar).
- I have cherries that I preserved using this method 2 years ago. They are still great.