After a few days home, I halved & pitted the remaining cherries and ended up iwth eight cups. I wasn't ready to process them, so I mixed them with some sugar and froze them until I was ready. Earlier this week I was. I decided to make preserves. Of course, I went online to find a recipe. I found a recipe for jam, but changed it slightly to make preserves instead. I have always preferred preserves, plus it's easier. To make jam, you have to cook the fruit until it all breaks down or run it through a food mill. To make jelly, you have to strain the fruit out leaving only the clear jelly part. But with preserves, you have chunks of fruit mixed through out.
Sweet Cherry Preserves
Adapted from Sugarcrafter
8 cups sweet cherries, halved & pitted
4 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 pkgs powdered pectin
8 cups granulated sugar
Mix cherries, lemon juice, lime juice, and cinnamon in a large pot and heat over medium-high heat until it starts to bubble. Add the pectin, and boil over high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the sugar, and bring to a hard boil. Then stir constantly for one minute.
Pour into sterilized 1/2 pint jars, and process for 10 minutes in a waterbath canner. I got 10 jars of preserves from this batch.
The original recipe also included cardamom and rum. I left them out because I didn't have any, but I think they would have added an interesting dimension.
Even without, these preserves were a big hit. We'll be enjoying these for months to come. Now I wish I'd bought even more cherries because I'd like to can some pie filling and another recipe I found for canning the cherries without cooking them first.