Project Cherry, Day 2. I made cherry syrup, which used almost five pounds of fruit. It also meant I used the dreaded cherry pitter again. But, it was worth the effort when the syrup was made and bottled. I love the sight of cherry, pomegranate, or raspberry syrup drizzled over ice cream, pancakes, or Greek yogurt. Food should please the eye, as well as the taste buds, and a ribbon of bright red syrup usually makes a dish taste better. But, not if it's one of those fruit syrups from the grocery store that contain little fruit, but lots of sugar and artificial flavorings. This syrup may seem too high in sugar, but it's much less than many commercial brands. Since this is a syrup, it contains as much sugar as fruit, which produces a good texture. Some of the sugar could be reduced, if you don't mind a thin syrup that runs all over the plate. I don't mind the sugar, as I generally only use a tablespoon of it at a serving.
(Linda Amendt, Blue Ribbon Preserves)
Note: Don't cook the syrup longer than stated, because it may turn into jelly.
Makes 6 half pints jars
4-1/2 pounds sweet cherries, pitted, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup water
Combine cherries and water in an 8 quart saucepan over medium high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce, cover, and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, take off the lid, and let cool for 15 minutes. Strain the juice from the fruit in a fine mesh strainer. Discard the pulp.
4 cups cherry juice
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons filtered lemon juice
1 cup corn syrup
Combine the juice, sugar, and lemon juice in an 8 quart saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then cook over medium-high heat, bringing it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the corn syrup and simmer for 10 minutes more. Remove from heat and skim foam off the top.
Ladle the syrup into hot clean jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean, damp cloth. Cover with hot, clean lids and apply screw rings. Process half-pints for 10 minutes in a boiling hot water bath. Pints for 15 minutes.