Saturday 22 July 2023

Canning Cherries -Raw Pack Water Bath Method

 We got lucky again this year and went over to our friends farm to pick some of their lovely cherries! I make us all pick with the intention of preserving as many as we can! 

So this week has been busy, along with our eldest leaving school I've been trying not to waste any of this amazing fruit. 

The main method of preserving them is freeing, which I'll do so I can have cherries in my breakfast every day. But I also love having jars of canned cherries on the shelf. 

We have managed to get into a great habit of using canned fruit like this, all through the winter and spring, as crumbles, pies and other types of pudding. It's so quick to use, mainly because all the time and effort is put in at the point of canning them. 

Water bath canning them is dead simple. You wash and pit the fruit, sterilise your jars and lids, set a saucepan deep enough to cover the jars with one inch of water over the top to boil. 
Create sugar syrup (this was a very light one - 6 3/4 cups of water to 3/4 a cup of sugar) then bring that up to heat as well. 
Put half a cup of the syrup into the jars then fill with cherries, push them in so they're down below the rim. Top up with the sugar syrup to leave a 1/2" (12mm) head space.
Put the lids on and screw on the rings (not too tight). Put all these into the saucepan (making sure they don't touch the bottom) and bring it back up to the boil. Boil for this for 25 minutes, leave for 5 minutes off the heat then remove the jars. 
Once cool remove the rigs and check they have all sealed. Store in a cool, dry, dark place. 

Alternatively watch the video above and I'll talk you through it! 

I also give a top tip that is probably the most important thing when working with cherries! 

Who else enjoys seeing their pantry shelves stocked up with home canned fruit? What's your favourite one to can?


  1. I grew up (not in the UK), where preserving using water bath canning was quite common. However I have struggled in the UK to source jars, lids and rings at a reasonable price. While it is aspirational to home preserve produce, it is not economical if it costs way more than 'bought'. Where do you source these items from?
    And another question. What are you using in the canner to lift the jars off of the bottom of the pot while they are canning? Is it a trivet that came with it? I have dixies (large pots) but no suitable trivet.
    Thanks for any tips you can offer.

    1. I have a proper canning pot but I don't always want to use it. I do have two big stew pans that will hold 5 pints. I managed to find a couple of cake/cookie cooling racks that fit in them perfectly. You can also use canning jar rings to lift the jars off the bottom of the pan. I love canning all fruits but by far the easiest are blueberries!!

    2. Oxonkiwi - I use the trivet that cae with the canner to keep them up off the bottom (I think I show it on my canning apple video from the autumn), although I also have a huge saucepan where I use a mesh rack that came with an old microwave (for it's grill setting), but I broke the lid for that saucepan so it's not so great to get to temperature anymore!
      As for sourcing lids and stuff, I've been slowing collecting the jars over the years, seeing them as an investment, buying them if I ever see them reasonably priced. I also occaitonally get given them or pick them up at a jumble sale or carboot. A lady did bring some to give me at a talk the other day as well. I estimate I have a few hundred now at least, maybe 250.
      the lids are a extra cost, I've started buying them from Alibaba, inporting them from china. I did it once as a test and they seem fine, they don't "pop" quite as loud but seal great. I think they work out at a few pence each normally if you buy a hundred at a time.

    3. Janice - I have an asparagus pan (tall and thin) that I can use to just can one jar on it's own! That has a metal rack inside. I've used many ways to keep the jars off the bottom and find some mesh works best. I found an old microwave rack that was the perfect fit for my old saucepan.

    4. Kev - Thanks. Yes, this is pretty much as I have found it. No easy, or economical, way to acquire the necessary in the UK.

    5. Yeah, its a slow build up of stuff to be able to do it for me. I did import a load of tattler lids a few years ago to use which are reusable. In truth though I'm not their biggest fan as the rings for the kilner mason jars seem a little tighter and can fetch off the lids when checking for seal. Might not be a problem with ball ones, but I only have a few of them.

  2. I can a lot of apples and pears but haven’t got enough sour cherries yet to can. One day though I will. I also have the same pitter but the best one was one my mom had when I was a kid. It had a spring return piston and the whole thing screwed on top of a regular Mason jar. It was much faster and helped contain the cherry juice splatter that plaques the Oxo one we both own.

    1. I keep looking to see if I can find some kind of semi industrial pitter, one that the cherries would roll through and I could just keep pressing a level. Maybe I should make one! Something for the Youtube channel!

    2. This might be interesting Kev.

    3. Janice - Argh! Now I'm trying to find one I can import at a reasonable price! They look great.

    4. I did find it on amazon uk but it is expensive!


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