Typically, when I acquire a massive hoard of food it’s intentional. I find myself lost in thought while wandering through sun-ripened fields, full of fresh produce just begging to be picked. This past Spring was very cold and very wet, so it pushed our growing season back just a bit. Fast forward to mid July when I had assumed there was still time for cherry picking. Wrong. I missed the deadline by a few days.
Last week while picking up a few needed items for my weekly meal planning sesh, I stumbled onto a sweet cherry sale, as in less than $2 a pound kinda sale. Naturally I went completely overboard and ended up saving more than I spent! Now faced with a fridge packed full of delicious, dark red cherries, I had the daunting task of preserving these tasty little gems so they could be enjoyed throughout the year.
My initial plan of attack was clear, some would be eaten fresh, some would be dehydrated, and quite a few bags were destined to end up in my deep-freeze. Then came the not so clear part, canning. I began skimming my preservation books to see what recipes would interest me and much to my surprise there were quite a few! Being a fan of all things dessert, these recipes made their way to the front of the line. First up: Danish cherry sauce. I found it to be a simple but satisfying topping for cheese cake, one that would not overshadow the dessert, but elevate it just a bit.
Danish Cherry Sauce -yields 4 pints
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 cinnamon sticks, approximately 4″ each
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup water
3/4 cups corn syrup
7 1/2 cups pitted sweet cherries
Combine sugar, almond extract, cinnamon sticks, corn syrup, and water in a large stainless steel sauce pan. Over med-high heat bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce to a gentle boil, add cherries and stir until heated through. Remove cinnamon sticks.
Ladle hot cherries and syrup into clean, hot, pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch head-space. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight. Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. Remove canner from heat, wait 5 minutes and then remove jars and allow seals to set for 12-24 hours.
For a thicker sauce combine 1 tbsp cornstarch and 2 tbsp water in a small sauce pan, then add one pint of Danish cherry sauce. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, stirring until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. DO NOT add cornstarch before canning!
Images and content copyright © 2016 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving