It’s time for Washington State stone fruits again!
One of the best things about living in this part of the country is summer stone fruits. Cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines – you could almost live on fresh fruit for months!
So I was thrilled when the Washington State Fruit Commission asked me to be a Canbassador again this year. A big box of garnet-hued sweet cherries arrived on my doorstep and I got busy creating.
What is a Canbassador?
As a Canbassador my job is to make all kinds of wonderful preserved cherry items and then write about them. (Yeah, it’s a tough job, but I am up for it!)
You can find out lots more about our wonderful Washington stone fruits over at the SweetPreservation site. There are instructions for canning and freezing fruit, all kinds of ideas for throwing a “preservation party,” recipes, tips for choosing the best fruit at the grocery store, and professionally designed labels to download. You can even get a copy of the “Of course I canned” badge for your own blog.
What to do with Sweet Cherries
Working with cherries can be messy, so this year I took the pitting job outside. Working on the picnic table, under the umbrella made the job even more delightful. Clean up was easy too – a quick wash with the hose.
Sweet cherries are more versatile than you may think. They make wonderful jam, mostarda, and sauce. I always freeze several gallons to use in smoothies and baking. Sometimes I make brandied cherries which are especially good on Black Forest Cake. This year though I wanted to do something that the kids could eat spooned over ice cream, so it was this simple, but not boring, cherries in syrup.
Ball Sharing Jars
I also happened to pick up a box of new Ball Sharing Jars this week – because I am a sucker for new canning jars! The Sharing Jars are part of their Design Series. Aside from the great look, the company donates four meals to Feeding America for every box of jars sold. Just another incentive to purchase these fancy-looking jars. And they look great filled with cherries!
- 2 lbs sweet red cherries, pitted
- ¾ cup honey
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 5 ¾ cup water
- ½ vanilla bean
- Combine honey, sugar, and water in a large pot or Dutch oven. Stir over low heat until sugar and honey have dissolved. Add cherries and vanilla bean.
- Cook over medium-low heat until cherries are warmed through.
- Remove vanilla bean. Ladle hot cherries into jars and cover with syrup, leaving ½ inch headspace.
- Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims with a damp paper towel.
- Top with two-piece lids and rings, and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.
Check back tomorrow for another sweet cherry creation.
Full disclosure: This recipe was made with cherries I received from the Washington State Fruit Commission.