Pressure Canned Cherries is a method of preserving fresh cherries by canning them using a pressure canner. This process ensures the safety and quality of the cherries by killing any harmful bacteria and preserving their flavor and texture. Pressure canning cherries is a great way to enjoy fresh cherries all year round and is a popular method among home canners.
In this process, the cherries are packed into jars with a sugar syrup, and then processed in a pressure canner at the recommended pressure and processing time for your altitude. The result is tender, flavorful, and shelf-stable cherries that can be used in a variety of recipes, including pies, jams, and desserts.
Why should you use a pressure canner for Pressure Canned Cherries?
Using a pressure canner is essential for pressure canning cherries because it ensures that the cherries are properly processed at the correct temperature and pressure to kill any harmful bacteria, such as botulism.
Pressure canning is the only safe method of preserving low-acid foods, such as cherries, to prevent the growth of these harmful microorganisms. The high pressure and temperature inside the canner also ensure that the cherries retain their flavor, texture, and nutritional value for an extended period of time. Without proper processing in a pressure canner, canned cherries can pose a serious health risk to those who consume them.
How to make Pressure Canned Cherries in a pressure canner
- Fresh cherries, washed and pitted
- Pressure canner
- Canning jars
- Canning lids and bands
- Jar lifter
- Large pot
- Mixing bowl
- Wash the cherries and remove the pits. Cut the stems to about 1/4 inch long, if desired.
- In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and water to make a light syrup. For a medium syrup, use 3 cups of water to 1 cup of sugar. For a heavy syrup, use 4 cups of water to 2 cups of sugar.
- Fill each sterilized jar with the prepared cherries, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace at the top.
- Pour the syrup over the cherries, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Use a clean knife or spatula to remove any air bubbles.
- Wipe the rim of each jar with a clean, damp cloth. Place the canning lid on top of the jar and screw on the band until it is snug but not too tight.
- Place the jars in the pressure canner according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add enough water to cover the jars by at least 1 inch.
- Close the pressure canner and bring it to the appropriate pressure for your altitude. Consult the instruction manual for specific pressure and processing time recommendations.
- Process the jars for the recommended time, then turn off the heat and allow the canner to cool naturally.
- Once the canner is depressurized and cool, remove the jars with a jar lifter and place them on a towel-lined surface. Allow them to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours.
- Check the seals on the jars by pressing down on the center of each lid. If it pops up and down, the jar did not seal properly and should be refrigerated or reprocessed. If the lid is firm and doesn’t move, the jar is properly sealed and can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
Tips for making Pressure Canned Cherries in a pressure canner
Here are some tips for making pressure canned cherries in a pressure canner:
- Choose fresh, ripe cherries: Select cherries that are fresh, ripe, and free from any bruises or blemishes. It’s important to use high-quality fruit for canning to ensure the best results.
- Prepare your jars and lids: Wash your jars and lids in hot, soapy water and rinse well. Sterilize the jars by boiling them in water for 10 minutes, and keep them hot until you’re ready to fill them.
- Pit the cherries: Remove the pits from the cherries using a cherry pitter. You can also use a sharp knife to cut the cherries in half and remove the pits manually.
- Make a syrup: Combine sugar and water in a pot and heat until the sugar dissolves. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking by adding more or less sugar.
- Pack the jars: Pack the prepared cherries into the hot, sterilized jars, leaving about 1 inch of headspace. Pour the hot syrup over the cherries, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.
- Remove air bubbles: Use a chopstick or a plastic spatula to remove any air bubbles from the jars.
- Process in a pressure canner: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your pressure canner. Process pints for 20 minutes at 6 pounds of pressure, or quarts for 25 minutes at 6 pounds of pressure.
- Allow jars to cool: Once the processing time is complete, turn off the heat and allow the pressure canner to cool down. Once the pressure has dropped to zero, carefully remove the jars and allow them to cool on a towel.
- Check the seals: After the jars have cooled, check the seals by pressing down on the lids. If they are firm and do not move, the jars are properly sealed. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within a few days. Properly sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
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