I don’t really know what possessed me to originally decide to go pick cherries and can some filling. I’ve never really been a big fan of cherry pie.
I’m so glad I did it.
This is some good stuff.
Can I show you my pretty pie again?
For some reason I’ve always thought my little brother Keith’s favorite pie was cherry but I recently found out he doesn’t like it much either. Strange. I also recently found out that cherry is Steve’s favorite. He says he told me back before we were dating and that I made him some cherry pie. I only believe him because I know he has a better memory than I do. I don’t remember this at all.
So, the first thing you do is call all over town to find the cheapest price on cherries, then call the place you want to get them from and tell them the cheapest price in town and ask if they can give you a better deal than that. Then smile when you get 30 lbs of cherries for 1.70/lb. Or grow a tree and pick your own. Then ask your husband to smile while he carries them to the car.
I liked the Montmorency variety available at our local orchard.
Next step: Put a couple of garbage bags on the kitchen floor and dump the cherries on top.
Why do you do this?
So your husband can sit on the floor and take the stems off the cherries while he watches a movie.
Then wash well. Now it is time to pit your cherries.
I’m sorry, I meant it is time for your husband to pit the cherries.
I highly recommend this kind of cherry pitter. Even if you are only pitting enough cherries for a single pie, it is totally worth it.
While your husband is pitting, get your ingredients together. (At this point I realize I’m out of something important and go to the store. And then go get a massage while I’m out so that the cherries will be all done when I get back.)
4 1/2 cups sugar
5 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
16 cups pitted cherries
1 cup minute tapioca
2 tsp almond extract (or just splash a bunch in like I do)
5 cups water
Stir together all the dry stuff first in a really big stock pot and then add water. Cook on med high heat. Stir and cook until thickened and bubbly then cook an additional 2 min.
Add the lemon juice and then the fruit. Stir constantly and bring mixture up to a rolling boil and cook 1 minute.
It is going to smell like Heaven.
Promptly ladle into quart jars leaving 1/2 ” headroom. If you look at the jars below you’ll notice the last jar doesn’t get quite as many cherries as the others, its mostly syrup. This could be remedied fairly easily, but it would require moving your funnel a lot.
Process the jars however you prefer to process your jars. I don’t abide by the rules that say you shouldn’t use steam canners. I’ve used them since I was born and I ain’t about to stop now.
If you want to process them in a boiling water bath canner, do so for 25 min. I steamed them for 30 minutes.
Hold up your jar and smile for the camera, then write a blog post about cherries so it looks like you canned them even though it was really your husband.
A quart is just enough for one pie…and my cherries gave me 24 jars.
Make some. Now.
And then let me have a slice of pie.
And tell me why I was cursed to be afraid of making pie crusts.