I was a little disheartened when this month’s Can It Up was announced as cherries. I missed May’s because I just never got around to it. I had been looking forward to this month’s and hoping it would be something like peaches that I like to play around with. Cherries are outside of my comfort zone-and normally outside of my price point.
Then one of my friends came up from New York and pronounced that she wanted to learn how to can (though Mid has pointed out that ‘learn how to can’ seems to always translate into me canning and other people watching. I’m actually okay with that). I told her that I’m fine canning whatever people want, assuming they provide materials.
One of the materials that was provided was a bag of frozen black cherries. And there you go.
I thought about what to do when we were driving back from Wegman’s- and came up with thinning out the cherries with some frozen peaches left over from a couple of batches of firestarter and a batch of peach pie jam that went weird and caramel-y. Seriously, I have never burned a canning batch until Sunday, but I suppose first time for everything and all that. Anyway, cherries and peaches went into the bowl-and then a shot of Fireball because I wanted something that would scent the preserves but not be overpoweringly spicy.
I’m all about the warm spice this season.
The day ended up amounting to firestarter, the infamous pie batch, blackstrap mixed berries, and these preserves.
I left these fairly soft set (at least, I hope so) because I wanted something that can go over desserts or mixed into yogurt.
Spiked Cherry Peach Preserves
1 cup frozen sliced peaches
3 cups frozen pitted black cherries
2 cups sugar
1 shot medium to dark colored alcohol-I used cinnamon whiskey (the same from last winter’s oranges), but use an alcohol that tastes good to you. If you want to leave it out, use a shot glass’s worth of orange juice.
Prep your canning supplies while the fruit, alcohol, and all the sugar sit in a glass bowl. Once the fruit starts to release its juice, add to a large saucepan.
Bring to a boil, and make sure to watch and stir frequently, allow to simmer for at least 20 minutes. At this point it may or may not still by quite syrup. Simmer, lowering the heat slightly every five to ten minutes to prevent scorching, until the juices run off the back of a spoon in a thick, slow sheet and not thin, fast, separate drops.
Once the preserves have cooked down, mash with a potato masher and allow to come back to a simmer. When you have achieved desired thickness fill jars with a 1/4 inch headspace and process for 10 minutes.
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Please, stop by this week’s Inspired Weekends!