Friday, July 29, 2011

Cherries + Chocolate...yum...

Chocolate Black Cherry Sundae Topping
(Adapted Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)

Makes about 6 (8 oz) half pints – also fantastic to put into 4 oz jars for gifts!

1/2 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
*1 1.75-oz pkg Ball Original Fruit Pectin
4-1/2 cups black sweet cherries
*6-3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 Tbsp. lemon juice

(*If you used Ball flex batch low sugar/no sugar pectin you can reduce the sugar significantly. I used only 1 1/2 cup sugar. Make sure to taste the recipe after the first cup of sugar and increase by ½ cups until the flavor is sweet enough)

Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

Combine Cocoa powder and pectin in a medium glass bowl, stirring until evenly blended. Set aside.
Combine cherries and lemon juice in a large stainless steel saucepan. Using a potato masher crush the cherries as best you can. Whisk in pectin mixture until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once (taste if you are using the low sugar method but do not boil till you have correct sugar ratio) and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.
Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam.

Ladle hot sundae topping into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

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