Thursday, July 22, 2010


In our backyard we have two varieties of cherry trees.  One has berries the size of bing cherries and the second tree has fruit the size of large blueberries.  Before we had cherry trees, we used to go pick sour cherries at a local U-Pick farm.  That was my first introduction to making cherry jam, jelly and real cherry pie.
If you are going to get serious about making jams, jellies or syrups, you need to have a cherry pitter.   This manual cherry pitter operates using a plunger which pushes the pit out of the cherry.  You can only pit one cherry at a time which therefore does require time to process the eight cups of cherries needed to make jam.  I made a double batch.
Making cherry jam is not difficult, it just requires pectin, pitted cherries, sugar, almond flavour and sealers. 
Here is the finished product.
I also decided to make syrup and to make things easier I first cooked the cherries and did not pit them.  Instead I used a strainer to separate the juice from the pulp and pits.  This old fashioned strainer works well and I have also used it to make apple sauce.
When making syrup, jam or jelly, you have to skim the froth off the surface before you ladle it into hot sterilized jars.   This week I made a total of 28 jars of jam and syrup.  We have more than enough for the next year and I also like to have jars to give as hostess gifts.

The DH loves pie and homemade cherry pie is probably one of his favorites,  I made this pie today using whole wheat flour for the pie crust, 4 cups of pitted cherries, one cup of sugar, three tablespoons of minute tapioca  and one teaspoon of almond extract. I made the pie after making 13 jars of syrup.  What a day!


  1. Wow, you are ambitious. I have the same suction-to-the-counter cherry pitter as you have. It's slow but satisfying. For the time being, I've put my cherries into the freezer and will make jam down the road, probably a cold and snowy winter day. What better time to evoke the flavours of summer...

  2. Thanks for the tip about freezing with their pits still on. I was so intent on processing them and I did freeze some already pitted that I hadn't thought about freezing and pitting later.