Blueberries and cherries. Aren't the beautiful?
To get those beautiful cherries, do yourself a favour. If you do not have a cherry pitter, get one. This tool makes it so easy to stone the fruit. (Works well on many olives, too.) You will save a lot of time and have a lot less waste.
Another tool that is invaluable - a nutmeg grater. Mine is over 100 years old as it belonged to my great-grandmother. But shiny new ones are available at kitchen shops. I just prefer to use hers because it makes me feel as if she is in the kitchen with me. And freshly grated nutmeg is so much better than the ground nutmeg in the spice aisle at the grocery.
Berries and such cooking to come to temp (in once again the Lilac Mist Le Creuset pot). A candy thermometer is the way to go to determine the correct temperature of 220°F.
Once again the jars in the makeshift canner:
Six beautiful half-pint jars of Cherry Blueberry Preserves. And there is another piece of a jar in the refrigerator.
These preserves are just delightful. The flavours all go together really well. This is one of those foods where the total is more than the sum of the parts. I will likely make another batch next week so that I can have some for gifts!
|Cherry Blueberry Preserves|
Makes 5 or 6 half-pint jars
4 cups cherries, washed and pitted
3 cups blueberries, rinsed, picked over for stems
4½ cups sugar
1 Tbsp thinly sliced lemon zest
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Combine all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan. I really like Staub and Le Creuset for this. Stir over medium heat to dissolve the sugar. Boil over high heat, being careful not to burn, until the mixture reaches 220°F on a cooking thermometer. Mash the blueberries and cherries while cooking so that they are not in whole pieces.
Ladle into hot, sterile jars, allowing ¼” of headspace. Cap and seal. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.