Sour Cherry Jam

Sour cherries have a relatively short season. I’ve never found them in a grocery store but we visited a u-pick to pick raspberries and, to my delight, discovered three rows of sour cherry trees.

Sour cherries are gems to find because although they aren’t necessarily for snacking, they make some of the best jams and baked goods around. So, even if you can’t find them at your grocers or farmers market make sure to check out some u-picks nearby. They are worth every ounce of trouble to get them.

If you don’t have a cherry pitter, no worries, I don’t either. Depending on what I’m using the cherries for I will either cut the cherry in half and remove the pit with my fingers or, if I want to use the cherries whole, I use the wavy end of a clean bobby pin to loosen the pit from the stem end and then insert the bobby pin through the other end and push the pit through. At first it may take a bit to catch on to the technique but once you’ve got it down it’s easy peasy.

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Summer Canning Series: Cherry Pie Filling Recipe

Written by Megan of Stetted.

Now that we’ve covered a few of the basics of canning, I wanted to move on to one of my favorite things to can in the summertime: pie filling.

I adore pie, but my family doesn’t need pie weekly. All too frequently my pie cravings hit in the dead of winter, when it’s hard to get good, fresh ingredients for pie. Those cans of filling from the grocery store just don’t cut it for me, so I’ve taken to making my own pie fillings from fresh peaches and apples when they come in season.

This year I decided to expand my pie filling stash to include cherries, thanks to a stock-up sale our local store had recently. Pie filling is quite easy to put up and requires only a few ingredients.

As in jam, the fruit is cooked slightly before packing into jars. Blanching the fruit helps soften it and allows you to pack more into the jar. The trick is to get as much fruit as possible into the jar – too much liquid and not enough fruit will result in a soggy pie when you pop the seal months down the road. Cherries pack into jars fairly easily, but you can use a wooden spoon handle to press the fruit down and remove any trapped air bubbles.

Like many other canning recipes, this calls for lemon juice. Bottled lemon juice is recommended rather than fresh juice; pH levels are very important in canning and bottled juice has more consistent pH. [Read more…]

summer sprinklers and popsicles

Frozen Treats: Cherry Limeade Popsicles

Beat the heat with our week-long series on simple frozen treats! Written by Katie of GoodLife Eats.

HOT is what it is around here. There is no getting around it anymore. Our days are filled with something frozen to eat, running through the sprinklers, and wading in the kiddie pool.

I love indulging in all of the delicious frozen treats that the summer season has to offer. And it’s actually fairly easy to keep those treats on the healthier side.

We tend to rely heavily on fruit-based treats in the summer. Not only are fruits a healthy way to get your sweet fix, but they’re great for curbing summer dehydration. Popsicles, smoothies, slushies, sorbet and more are all deliciously cold ways to feature the season’s best juicy fruit. Any cold, fruity treat is a winner in my book this time of year.
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Canning 101: Sweet Cherries for Winter Days

Written by Cheryl of Backseat Gourmet

My Baba was the canning and preserving queen. It wasn’t a fun, retro thing for her. It was about survival. And survival meant more than enough food to make it through the winter. It also meant a little bit of sunshine on a cold, harsh winter’s day on the Prairies. For her, that sunshine came in the form of canned fruit.

Her root cellar was filled with more than enough food for two people and any visitors. On one special shelf were jars of jams, obviously, but also jars of canned berries and cherries that grew in her garden. With a significant sweet tooth Baba’s fruit was more like an excellent pancake syrup.

I’ve adapted her canned fruit concept and lightened things up. I’ve also added more fruits to my repertoire, and taken some out. Canned strawberries are actually quite mushy, so I prefer alternative methods of preserving their goodness long term. Now I take advantage of the stone fruit that comes out of British Columbia, our neighbouring province.

Sure, you can make loads of jam with all those peaches, apricots, cherries, and plums. But a girl can only eat so much toast. Of late, I’ve really been enjoying the whole fruit in a light syrup. Cracked open in January, spooned on ice cream or oatmeal, or eaten straight, they are indeed a taste of summer sunshine.

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