Sour Cherry Preserves (Low sugar!)

Yes, I am still talking about cherries! First, I threatened to make a cherry crisp but then changed my mind. Instead, I slaved over a hot stove for hours (really only a few quick minutes!) to whip up a small batch of these amazing preserves.

My friend Michelle gave me a package of all-natural pectin to use when making low-sugar jams or preserves. She purchased the pectin at MOM's (My Organic Market) but I am guessing you can find it at most health food stores and natural grocery stores. I simply followed the directions on the package and VOILA! It worked!

The reason I chose to make preserves instead of a dessert was several-fold. 1) We already have about a zillion cupcakes lurking all over this house from my daughter's birthday. Apparently I am not the only one who decided to bake for her special day. 2) No one in my family will eat a cherry crisp if I make it healthy. 3) I will then end up eating an entire cherry crisp all by myself. 4) The preserves will last for quite a while. 5) I was able to use pectin and reduce the amount of sugar to one quarter of the regular recipe! (The regular recipe called for a cup of sugar for each cup of fruit!)

Plus, these preserves are lightly flavored with almond extract. I am out of mind for this flavor combination! It raises this simple recipe to a whole new level of deliciousness.


About 4 cups of pitted sour cherries (About 2-2&1/2 pounds before pitting.)
About 1 cup of sugar (You can use more if you wish!)
2 teaspoons calcium water (Calcium is included in the pectin package.)
2 teaspoons dry pectin powder
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Place cherries in large pan. Add calcium water and stir well. Turn heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Mix pectin with sugar and sprinkle into the cherries. Stir constantly to blend well. Bring back to a boil and cook 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add almond extract and mix well. Ladle preserves into clean, hot jars. Process in a water bath for at least 10 minutes. Makes about 4 1/2 pint jars.