Unless you live in an area where chokecherries grow wild, you perhaps never heard of a chokecherry. They are a wild fruit popular in most of North America and some parts of the United States. They grow on the Prunus Virginiana tree which looks like a large shrub or small tree. The individual cherries are about 4 inches in diameter in red, purple or black in color when fully ripe. Most human avoid eating these cherries because of their name, slightly sour taste and the possibility of choking on them. Nevertheless, the juice from all the different types of chokecherries has found their way into recipes to make chokecherry syrup.
The process to make chokecherry syrup is not complex at all. All of the supplies and ingredients needed to make this syrup are perhaps already in your kitchen or can be borrowed or purchased locally. This simple easy to follow recipe will make four pint size jars of delicious chokecherry syrup for your favorite pancakes or waffles which can be stored in your pantry or refrigerator.
Small strainer or sieve
Water Canner (optional)
4 – 6 pint size hot sterilized canning jars
10 cups red ripen chokecherries
1/2 of a 2-ounce box of pectin crystals
4 cups of sugar
1/2 tsp of almond extract.
Making the syrup:
Remove any stems or leaves from the chokecherries. Use the fruit wash to clean 10 cups of chokecherries. Place washed chokecherries in the large pot and don’t completely cover with water. Put a lid on the pot and cook for 30 minutes or until the cherries are soft.
Transfer the chokecherries to a big bowl and gently mash the cooked chokecherries like you would mash potatoes. Then strain the chokecherry juice through a small strainer or sieve. Measure 4 cups of the chokecherry juice and add to the large pot. While cooking on high gradually add the pectin crystals stirring frequently. Next add the 4 cups of sugar while continuing to stir. Allow the juice to boil for one full minute. Remove the chokecherry syrup from the stove. Using the slotted spoon remove any foam from the surface of the syrup.
Add the ½ teaspoon of almond extract and stir the syrup one last time. Pour the syrup into hot sterilized jars leaving about ¼ inch of space at the top. Place the lids on the jars and tighten the bands closed. Place the jars in the water canner and process for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the water canner and allow them to cool. These jars of chokecherry syrup do not need to be refrigerated. If you don’t have a water canner, store the tightly sealed jars of chokecherry syrup in the refrigerator until ready to use.
The chokecherry is not a well know fruit and most people may not be interested in eating them based on their name. However, the juice from the red, purple or black chokecherries are used to make a delicious chokecherry syrup. It is an easy process whether you make syrup to store in your pantry, cupboard or refrigerator. Also, a jar of homemade chokecherry syrup makes a great holiday gift for your friends and family who love pancakes, waffles and French toast.