Chokecherries by themselves are rather tart and cannot be eaten plain, however if you boil them with water then the juice can be turned into all sorts of delights! Here are a few recipes for chokecherries to save the delightful taste of summer.
Fill a half gallon canning jar with chokecherries
Add 3 cups of sugar (organic and raw preferably)
Fill jar with gin.
Let sit for at least two months. Shake daily for the first week to dissolve sugar.
I don’t strain it until the liquid is below the fruit. The color becomes a deep purple.
My friend, Sandy, adds more sugar half way through the waiting time and hers is quite spectacular. I may do the same this year. A nip of this concoction during the holidays or on a cold evening in front of the fire is very satisfying and very tasty. Incredibly smooth and easy to drink, do keep in mind it is straight gin! Make mixed drinks with it as well. The gorgeous, festive color lends itself to fine holiday gifts. Just pour into a decorative jar and arrange a ribbon about its neck.
This, my dear friends, is the first time that my chokecherry jelly has set completely! I have made a good deal of chokecherry syrup over the years unintentionally. (Which is quite delicious blended with maple syrup and poured over waffles.) My friend, Liza, brought me a magazine and in it was a recipe for chokecherry jelly which used two packets of liquid pectin rather than one as I had been doing. And it worked.
This recipe is a variation of the one from the Fall 2014 Capper’s Farmer magazine.
Place 1 quart of chokecherries in a saucepan and cover with about two inches of water. Boil until the color is lovely and the seeds are all showing through the skin. Strain liquid.
Put 3 cups of juice in pan.
Add 6 1/2 cups of sugar (organic and raw preferably) and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla sea salt (optional).
Bring to rolling boil stirring constantly.
Add two packets of liquid pectin and return to boil. Boil for two minutes.
Take off heat and add a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Pour into half pint and/or 4 ounce jars. Clean rim and replace lids. Boil in large pan with water covering jars for 6 minutes. 12 minutes if you are in my neck of the woods.
Mmm…chokecherry jelly and peanut butter sandwiches, chokecherry jelly on biscuits, on toast, in oatmeal, in salad dressing, in barbeque sauce, in….