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Marjorie’s Purple Haze Cherry Preserves

July 05, 2011

This recipe make about 4 half-pint jars worth of preserves

2 lbs of fresh pitted cherries, kept whole (I mixed these up as there were a bunch of varieties at my farmers' market this week -- 1 pt sour cherries, 1 pt ranier, and the rest were whatever variety of red cherries that were available.  Mixing it up is good!)

2 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

2 cups Purple Haze (it's a little over one bottle... but the rest of the 2nd bottle did not go to waste, I assure you.)

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp honey

juice of one large lemon

In the bottom of a Dutch oven, stir together the sugars and the beer over very low heat until the sugar dissolves.  Stir in the cinnamon and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.  Keep an eye on your pot because, at this point in the process,  the beer is likely to get fizzy and overflow if it gets too hot.

Add the cherries, honey and lemon juice. Bring it up to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to a simmer again.  Let the cherries cook for about an hour and a half, stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent the fruit from scorching.

Raise the heat to medium and cook for another half-hour, stirring often, until the syrup is just beginning to coat the back of a spoon.  You might want to taste it to make sure you don't need more lemon juice-- mine came out awfully sugary because my cherries were already pretty sweet. The syrup will look sort of thin while it's hot, but it thickens up a good bit as it cools.

Then, ladle the preserves into sterilized jars and process the jars in a water bath for 15 minutes to get a good seal.

Voila!

I really think the beer gives them an extra depth and richness preserves sometimes lack.  Hope y'all enjoy my recipe!

Forever your Turbodog girl,

Marjorie