Southern Cookin' Makes You Good Lookin'

Random Rantings about Food and Such

Dark Cherry Almond Conserve

on 06/21/2011

Heavens above!  Just when you think it can’t get any better, POW!  Right in the ol’ kisser.  Our dear friend Jewel had more cherries than she wanted to deal with and very kindly shared.  The girls had already eaten a couple gallons, i think, but we did manage to save some to can.  In my never ending search for all things cool sounding and unique, i ran across a recipe for Dark Cherry Almond Conserve.  Cherry plus almond equals yummy in my book so this was a must try.  Oh, honey!  Let me tell you!  We had planned to make two batches and then try to make a cherry salsa but after one taste it was “Salsa Shmalsa!  Let’s make three!”

This really is an easy recipe to do except for one thing…it’s the pits.  No, really.  Pitting the cherries is the longest part of the putting it together (of course all the stirring and the time of the water bath process are lengthy but you expect that.) Fortunately  my canning buddy, Ashley, was there to help and we listened to an audio book of “The Silver Chair” from the Chronicles of Narnia.  Plus we had two kitty Muses (or Mews in Ninja’s case–that kitten likes to talk!) to inspire us.

We were only able to get 3 pints out of each batch so this stuff is going to be hoarded big-time!  Trust me, though, it is worth every penny and every minute.



Dark Cherry Almond Conserve

3 cups pitted cherries, about 1 1/2 pounds (we used sweet cherries)
1/2 cup  lemon juice
1/2 cup tart dried cherries (substituted dried cranberries)
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 box fruit pectin
4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup lightly toasted sliced almonds

Place cherries, lemon juice, dried cherries, water and allspice in a 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottom saucepot. Add pectin.

Place over high heat and bring to a FULL ROLLING BOIL (a boil you can’t stir down), stirring constantly to prevent scorching.  Stir in sugar and, as soon as the full rolling boil takes place again, start timing and cook jam for 4 minutes.  Immediately stir in the extract and toasted almonds.

Remove from heat and fill jars. Process jars in boiling water bath for 10 minutes (with this method jam will keep for up to 1 year stored at room temperature), or cool and refrigerate jam for up to 3 months.


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