With the help of kids, husband and friends, I ended up with an ice cream bucket full of cherries. If I get the bushes covered with bird netting today, we should have several more buckets before we're done with cherry season.
We love nanking cherry jam/jelly and syrup in our home and since there are only 2 pints of syrup left in my pantry, today I made syrup. Making syrup is an easy and relatively quick process.
First step: remove the juice from the fruit.
1. Wash and remove debris.
Note: If you are looking for a clear, county fair blue ribbon product, you will want to strain off the juice and not collect the pulp' I love the texture the pulp gives and cannot imagine wasting any of the fruit, so we mash out as much pulp as we can.
Second Step: turn the juice into syrup.
1. Gather supplies and recipe. I have adjusted a syrup recipe that I found in a NDSU extension service bulletin to fit my family; it now has significantly less sugar than recommended.
Nanking Cherry Syrup
4 c juice
2 c sugar
3 Tbs lemon juice (needed for the pectin to work)
1/2 pkg powdered pectin
Third step: label and store in a cool dry location until you are ready to use it.
And that is it! What is better than turning the fruits of your labor into something that your whole family will enjoy for months to come!
Happy Gardening and Preserving! :D