Sunday, August 22, 2010

Home Canning Cherry Pie Filling

Makes about 4 (32 oz) quarts or 8 (16 oz) pints
You will need:
 15 cups frozen red tart cherries (about 10 lbs), thawed for 24 hours in the refrigerator
 3-1/2 cups sugar
 1 cup ClearJel® starch
 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
 1/4 cup lemon juice
 4 (32 oz) quart or 8 (16 oz) pint preserving jars

1.) DRAIN thawed cherries in a colander, placed over a large bowl, stirring occasionally, until 8 cups of juice have been collected, about 2 hours. Set liquid and cherries aside.
2.) PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready to use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
3.) WHISK together 4 cups cherry liquid, sugar, ClearJel® and cinnamon in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil until thickened and mixture begins to bubble. Add lemon juice. Return to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add reserved cherries all at once. Return to a boil, stirring constantly but gently. Remove from heat.
4.) LADLE hot pie filling into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
5.) PROCESS filled jars in a boiling water canner 35 minutes for pints and quarts, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

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