Prep 24 hrs
Cook 2 hrs
Blue Ribbon Preserves
- 3 lbs firm tart red cherries
- 8 cups cold water
- 2 tablespoons ascorbic acid, crystals
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons red food coloring
- 1 tablespoon almond extract
- Remove pits from cherries.
- Combine 8 cups water and ascorbic acid.
- Stir until crystals are dissolved.
- Add cherries to the solution.
- Don't allow the fruit to remain more than 20 minutes.
- Rinse fruit; drain well.
- Combine 1 1/2 cup water and sugar.
- Bring to a boil.
- Stir in food coloring and add the cherries.
- Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes.
- Cool completely, allowing cherries to soak 24 hours.
- Next day, bring to a boil and then stir in almond extract.
- Pack hot cherries into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch head space.
- Shake jars to get firm pack.
- Bring syrup to a boil and ladle hot syrup into jars.
- Process in water bath for 15 minutes for 1/2 pint jars.
Made these up with Bing cherries. Instead of the ascorbic acid I soaked the cherries in equal parts bottled lemon juice and water (works the same to preserve color etc). I only had 1 tbsp of food coloring but that was quite enough! The jars look nearly black until you get close. The jars are beautiful and I may try entering these in the fair this year. The flavor isn't much like store bought marachinos (which I LOVE, I could eat them by the jar) And they aren't as "crisp" either. Next time I'll try a little alum. But all and all I think these will work great in baked goods etc. I also had a lot of juice left over in the pot so I canned a couple 1/2 pints of just juice to use in smoothies and other random things lol.
So easy, so good- I actually like maraschino cherries now! Try them you'll be converted too;)
This is a great recipe. I used it with Spiced Pineapple Upside Down Cake It was a hit with my 6yo DD's birthday. Thanks!