Food Preservation – Cherries Plan on making cherry juice and cherry leather on the same day to get the most out of your fruit. Cherry Juice 10 lbs sweet cherries 4 quart jars Remove stems and pits from cherries and place cherries in steamer basket of steam juicer. Steam for 1 hour. Put hot juice into jars. Wipe rims and place on lid and ring. Process for 25 minutes in water bath or steam canner. To make juice: add water and sweetener as desired. (1 part juice to 1 part water – or use less water if it tastes too diluted) Cherry Leather Use cherries from juicer above. 12 oz jar applesauce 1 tsp almond flavoring After juicing is complete, run the cherry pulp through a food strainer/sauce maker. If cherry puree is too thin, you may need to simmer for a few hours until it thickens. Add applesauce and almond flavoring to cherry puree. Place 2 cups mixture onto each dehydrator tray (14 x 14 tray) and dry for about 8 hours. (135 F). Leather is done when it feel leather-like and is pliable. There should be not sticky spots in the center. Remove the leather from the tray while it is still warm and roll it up. Cooled leather does not roll as easily. Cherry leather tends to be more sticky, so I like to place it on a sheet of wax paper before I roll it up to make it easier to unroll. Dehydrated Cherries Best cherries for drying are (Sweet – Bing, Lambert, Napoleon, royal ann) or (Sour – Early Richmond, Montmorency). Wash; cut in half and remove pits. Dry at 165 F for 2-3 hours, then at 135 F until leathery, but slightly sticky. Use sweet cherries as a snack or like raisins in baked goods. Use sour varieties in baked goods, like pieces and cobblers. Canned Sweet Cherries Raw pack: Use a light syrup for sweet cherries ( 2 cups sugar to 4 cups water). Use a medium syrup for sour cherries (3 cups sugar to 4 cups water). Wash, drain and stem berries. Pour about ½ cup syrup into jar. Fill jar with cherries. Shake jar to pack cherries closely without crushing, leaving ½ inch head space. If there is not enough syrup to cover cherries, add more syrup, leaving ½ inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rims, place on lids and rings. Adjust caps. Process pints 15 minutes and quarts 20 minutes in a boiling water bath. Bing Cherry Jam 4 cups pitted, chopped bing cherries 1 package powdered pectin ¼ cup lemon juice 1 tsp almond extract ½ tsp cinnamon ½ tsp cloves 4 ½ cups sugar Combine all ingredients, except sugar, in a large sauce pot. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar; return to a rolling boil. Boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. pour hot into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch head space. Adjust caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath or steam canner. Yield: about 6 half pints.