The difference between a preserve and a jam is basically how big the pieces of fruit are. The larger piece recipes would be classified as preserves while finer, more processed pieces of fruit would be considered jam.
To make a tart cherry preserve for use in cookies, pastries, yogurt, crepes, donuts, and cakes, I first stem and pit the cherries. Then I coarsely chop them in the food processor. Some of the pieces are fine, but the majority are still chunky and there is even an occasional full cherry to be found.
Tart Cherry Preserves
12 Cups Pitted/Stemmed Tart Cherries
4 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Clear Jel mixed with 1/2 Cup Water
- Pit and stem cherries. Place prepared cherries in small batches in food processor and pulse three or four times being sure not to turn into a puree. Doing this in small batches ensures that you won’t have to over-process the batch in order to chop all the fruit.
- Place chopped cherries in a large stock pot with any juice produced. Add sugar and lemon juice and bring to near boil over medium heat.
- Turn heat up to medium-high and add Clear Jel slurry. Bring to boil and boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and ladle into hot, sterilized jars. Process in water bath canner for 10 minutes.
This recipe will make between 16 and 18 – 8 oz. jars. I actually got 22 jars because prior to canning the final batch I added some frozen cranberries and a bit more sugar. I brought this back up to a boil and then processed as above. This gave me yet another preserve for the pantry shelf – Cran-Cherry Preserves.
Tart cherry preserves are something we never seem to have enough of. This is used more often than any other preserve in our home, especially during the holidays. With 22 jars safely tucked away in the pantry, we should be good until next year, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.