Black Forest Preserves

READY IN: 45mins
Recipe by LonghornMama

From Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, 2006 Edition. Cherries should be pitted, coarsely chopped, then packed to measure 3 cups. Recipe suggests serving with cheese, tucked into ice cream balls to make tartufo, or spread between cake layers or cookie sandwiches. Directions assume knowledge of hot water bath canning procedures. If you are new to canning, the cookbook mentioned above contains wonderfully detailed canning instructions. Another good resource is the Ball Blue Book.

Top Review by Cynthia R.

I love this recipe, and make it every year after my family goes to the local u-pick cherry orchard. Make sure you use a good quality cocoa powder, one year I used a cheap store brand because it was in the pantry. That batch did have a weird 'fake chocolate' taste to it that wasn't good on toast, I ended up using it up as a filling in cakes just so it wouldn't go to waste. I have used ghirardelli for good results and my favorite is E Guittard unsweetened rouge red cocoa powder. I only used 1 box of pectin and it set fine, firm enough to mound up but still had a nice softness to it that make it seem even richer spread on anything from regular whole wheat to toast brioche. Another variation I've done is with Rainier cherries, the overall color isn't as dark but the taste is awesome.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 6 12 cups sugar
  • 13 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 cups firmly packed coarsely chopped pitted sweet black cherries
  • 12 cup lemon juice
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages liquid pectin
  • 4 tablespoons amaretto liqueur or 12 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Prepare canner, jars, and lids.
  2. In a bowl, combine sugar and cocoa. Stir well.
  3. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine cherries and lemon juice. Stir in cocoa mixture. Over high heat, stirring constantly, bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down.
  4. Stir in pectin. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in Amaretto. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
  5. Ladle hot preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and add hot preserves if needed. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band tight.
  6. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil, then process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars.

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