Sour Cherry Preserves

Sour Cherry Preserves

Sour Cherry Preserves

When I first moved to southern Ontario, I was amazed at the selection of fresh Ontario fruit available in the summer time and this is when I first tasted fresh sour cherries. It was love at first bite and, ever since that first summer, sour cherries always make an appearance sometime on our summer time menus. When we moved to our house north of London, we decided to plant a Montmorency cherry tree, known in this area as one of the best cherry trees to grow for fresh sour cherries. It produces enough sour cherries for me to can at least two batches of this preserve and there is always enough left on the tree for a couple of sour cherry pies. Enjoy these preserves on ice cream or mixed into plain yogurt.
YIELD : 7-250 ml jars
WATER BATH PROCESSING TIME: 5 minutes for altitudes of 1000 feet or below. Adjust processing time for other altitudes.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Water Bath Processing Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course breakfast, snack
Cuisine American
Servings 7 250 ml jars
Calories 34 kcal


  • canning pot
  • wire basket or tray for the bottom of the canning pot
  • jar lift
  • magnetic wand for lid placement
  • 7-250 ml sterilized jars with lids and rings
  • 8-litre pot with a lid
  • funnel
  • strainer


  • 4 pounds sour cherries, about 12-14 cups pitted
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 pound Granny Smith apples, about 3 small
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed and strained or substitute with bottled concentrated lemon juice


The first day:

  • Combine the cherries and sugar in a 8-litre pot and bring to a boil. Lower the temperature and maintain a low boil for 5 minutes or until the cherries have released enough liquid to cover the top of the fruit. (You want the cherries to remain whole so stop cooking as soon as you see that the liquid will cover the cherries.)
  • Remove from the stove, cover with a lid and cool completely. Then store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 2 days.

The second day:

  • Core the apples and remove the seeds and quarter the apples.
  • Take the cherries out of the refrigerator and strain off the liquid. Set the cherries aside.
  • Pour the cherry liquid back into the pot and add the apples, skin side up.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat and boil, stirring occasionally, until the syrup is reduced and thick, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Once the syrup is reduced, add the cherries back to the pot and also add the lemon juice.
  • Bring the preserve to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer while stirring the preserve for 5 minutes. Remove the apples and reserve them for another use. (These apples are great cooled and then topped with whipping cream.)
  • Pour the hot sour cherry preserves into hot sterilized jars, leaving ΒΌ inch of headspace. Run a sterilized knife or thin kitchen utensil through the preserve to remove air bubbles. Top each jar with a washed and briefly warmed snap lid. (I put the snap lid in boiling hot water for 30 seconds, this softens the seal.) Add the sterilized ring and tighten to finger tip tightness. Process using the boiling water method in a canning pot for 5 minutes.
  • Shut off the canning pot and leave the jars in the pot with the lid on. Set your timer for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, remove the jars and cool on a board or metal rack. Don't disturb for 24 hours.
  • Remove the rings and inspect the jars. If some of the preserves have leaked out onto the jars, wipe them clean with a soapy cloth. Store the preserves without the rings on in a dark cool place for up to a year
  • Store jars that don't seal in the fridge and use immediately.



Serving: 1tbspCalories: 34kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 47mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 15IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 3mgIron: 1mg
Keyword sour cherry, sour cherry preserves
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