Harvest: Cherry-Berries Spread Cherries! This year I had my first crop of Cherries come in and it was delicious. My wife made a wonderful Cherry Cobbler and we put the rest in the freezer to be used later in the season when we had a greater variety of berries. We've harvested and frozen strawberries and raspberries to go with the cherries to make this spread. I've waited to try this recipe until I had my own cherries so I'm pretty excited. Here goes: adapted fromBall: Complete Book of Home Preserving...page 28 Light and luscious, these spreads showcase the natural sweetness and flavor of fruit because they are sweetened with frozen juice concentrates, with no added sugar. The addition of tart apples boosts the pectin content and adds body to these spreads. For best results, select fully ripe, sweet berries at the peak of quality and ripeness. Cherry-Berries Spread 5 tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped 6 cups halved hulled strawberries 3 cups chopped pitted cherries 3 cups raspberries 2 12 oz. cans undiluted frozen unsweetened apple juice concentrate, thawed 1. Prepare canner, jars, and lids 2. In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine apples, strawberries, cherries, raspberries and apple juice concentrate. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently while mashing fruit, until mixture thickens, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and test gel (see page 21). If gel stage has not been reached skim off foam. 3. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving ¼" headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot jam. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight. 4. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store. TIPS: When making long-boil jams, it is essential to maintain a close vigil on the boiling fruit mixture. As the spread thickens, it tends to stick to the pan and can easily burn if it is not stirred frequently and throughly. Using a heavy bottomed, good quality saucepan also helps prevent scorching. If your mixture has not reached the gel stage when first tested, return the pan to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, for an additional 5 minutes. Repeat gel stage test and cooking as needed. Granny Smith Apples Raspberries Cherries Strawberries Mix them all together in a pot and cook them down. Cook your berries for 45 minutes or so. I use a thermometer to ensure my berries reach 220° F. for proper consistency. Ladle your hot berries into prepared jars. Wipe the rim of your jar clean. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight. Another tasty treat to enjoy throughout our long snowy winters!