You fruit CSA members are always improvising.  Here are some recipes from two of our members who weren’t crazy about the state of their cherries.  Nice save.

From Nicole:

I was probably not the only person disappointed by the fermenting pile of cherries we got at the CSA Tuesday night. I got home and put my face in the bag and it smelled of decomposing fruit. I decided to make jam on the spot. I just now tasted the jam I made, and it is so good I just have to share the recipe in hopes that people get good use from those sad cherries. I had a full share, so for a half share, halve the amounts below.

Here are recipes for two types of pectin (I also include an idea below if you have no pectin). Standard supermarket pectin requires a lot of sugar. I found a pectin last summer that cuts that sugar in half and still jells very well. Here are the two recipes:

4 cups pitted chopped sour cherries

1 T fresh lemon juice

5 cups sugar

½ t unsalted butter

1 (3 oz.) pouch liquid pectin (the stuff you can buy in our local grocery stores)


4 cups pitted chopped sour cherries

1-2 cups sugar

1 batch Pomona’s Universal Pectin

Luckily, I have lots of Pomona’s in my house, but in case you have none and don’t have time to go searching for it, just grab the regular stuff from the grocery store and use the first recipe (I’ve also experimented with reducing the amount of sugar with standard pectin – the jam turns out a bit less jelled but still great).

I pitted and chopped all the cherries (with a paring knife over the pot; quick and easy). It didn’t measure it but it was definitely shy of 4 cups (for a full share). I added 2 cups of brown turbonado sugar (it’s all I had – I’m completely out of white sugar, but either works fine). I brought that to a high simmer and let it cook for about 15 minutes. I added one package of Pomona’s Universal Pectin, stirred it in, and then took it off the heat. I poured it into a large jar, closed it, and let it cool. I put it in the fridge and will keep it in the fridge since I’m not pasteurizing it (no time, and no need since it’s a small batch that we can eat right away). I tasted it this morning and it was heavenly! It will mix perfectly with a bowl of plain Greek yogurt, or better yet, crème fraiche (if you can find it).

If you have no pectin and have no time to go searching for it, then just pit and chop them, in a pot with 2 cups sugar (or less) and boil it down. Add ½ t butter, maybe 1 t lemon juice. You can use this as pie filling, or mix it with plain yogurt, or pour it on top of a cake, or just eat it plain. It’s wonderful – and there’s no reason to let those cherries go to waste!

I hope this is useful to folks and welcome any questions on jam-making (though I don’t claim to be an expert, just enthusiastic).

And from Ainslie:

    I had the same thoughts, but had clipped the recipe from last week’s
    Times for the sour cherry pie, so brought them home and pitted tham
    right away. We made the crust, as well, then stuck everything in the
    fridge overnight. The next evening, I rolled out the dough, finished
    the filling and stuck the whole thing in. 45 minutes later, voila!
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