. Step back! Hold the phone! THIS you need to make!! I love fruit butter (resembles un-gelled jam.) this Dark Cherry Fruit Butter is excellent! Its not a runny syrup or a super thick fruit butter like my Spiced Apple Butter but, great for spooning over oatmeal, swirling into ice cream, folding into baked goods, using as a sauce, and dripping over fresh scones. ~Enjoy! Diane
Sweet Cherry Fruit Butter
3.25 lbs Sweet Cherries, stemmed & pitted
juice of one large lemon & zest
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbs cherry brandy, optional
Yield: 5 half pints
Wash, stem and pit the cherries - you'll need 3.25 lbs after pitting.
Place the cherries and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a large pot. Bring to a light boil, stirring occasionally over Medium heat.. Reduce the heat so that the mixture simmers and let the mixture cook for 60 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to prevent scorching. Prepare your waterbath canner and jars as the mixture cooks down.
After an hour, the cherries will have released their juices and softened. The mixture will be reduced and a deep red wine color. Take the pot off the heat and puree until smooth with an immersion blender. When the mixture is velvety smooth, add in the honey, lemon juice and lemon zest.
Return the pot to the stove and place over medium heat. The fruit butter will start sputtering once heated back up. Let it cook for another minute or so, until the butter is thick and spreadable (it will thicken and set more as it cools). At this point, stir in Cherry Brandy if using.
Ladle the boiling hot fruit butter into hot, sterile jars, filling them to 1/4" head-space. Wipe the rims, and add a new lid, band and process in a boiling water-bath for 10 minuted or according to your local altitude. The fruit butter should keep, unopened, for at least 6 months in your pantry.
Recipe and Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
Cherries by: Northwest Cherries/Washington State