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chokecherry syrup and/or jelly

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
guys -

i have two quarts of chokecherry juice that i've rendered from some chokecherries.

please tell me how to turn 1 quart into chokecherry syrup and one quart into chokecherry jelly.

of course, i might decide to turn both quarts into one or the other, but i figure if i have instructions for both, then i can choose!


post #2 of 14
It's been a while but to do the syrup simply reduce the one quart by simmering in a pan till the desired consistancy. Add sugar to taste.

For the Jelly you can buy some pectin and add that then follow directions on the box, or get two or three green plums puree them add to the juice and boil. Test with a spoon and when it coats the spoon thickly cool and jar. Sugar to taste.

Choke cherry also makes really nice wine.
We used to make CCherry wine and small amounts of it blended in with the grape wine for better colour and more robust flavours.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
thanks for the quick reply, GnuBee!

my thinking was pretty cose with the syrup - my guess was that chokecherries being as tart as they are, a little more sugar than usual would be required. boiling ot down makes good sense as well, since it is so thin right now.

as for the jelly, i was hoping tehre might be a way to do it without adding store-bought pectin - your suggestion of using plums sounds great!

chokecherry wine - now that sounds like a good idea - these two quarts of juice are a couple of years old (very well sealed) and might be good for that, as well.

oh, the possibilities!
post #4 of 14
One other thing I did with choke cherry juice, warmed it up and carefully poured it over my sister during a camping trip. When she woke up the next morning It was the funniest thing I had ever seen.icon_mrgreen.gif

Side note: I never sat down for the whole rest of the trip. My Dad was mad!!!!

Green plumbs are full of natural pectins.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
sounds like a great way to get into trouble! of course, i must admit i remember doing one or two similar things to my own sister when we were younger ~ PDT_Armataz_01_36.gif

here's my plan - i'm making syrup and have decided to put 4 cups of sugar into the two quarts of chokecherry juice. i'll simmer this until desired consistency, then pour into pint-sized jars ~

we'll see how it goes!
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
i'm in the process of simmering down the chokecherry juice/sugar solution to a syrupy consistency. i brought it to a boil and then brought it down to low because i am not sure if it can be on igh, the whole time. when it gets down to a good, thick consistency, i'll pour what i have into pint-sized jars and seal them.

i rendered this chokecherry juice a few years ago, but the jars were well-sealed and always stored in a cool, dark place. when i opened them, i was a little worried, but the juice inside smelled and tasted just as fresh as the day i made the juice ~ i am assuming this is due to the natural astringency of the chokecherry?

anyway, this is going pretty good and i may see about getting more chokecherries this weekend - i am also going to keep an eye out for well-seasoned chokecherry wood to use for smoking.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
undiluted/unconcentrated chokecherry juice plus 4 cups of sugar equals just a hair under three pints (a quart and a half) of chokecherry syrup.

this stuff looks and tastes great - the consistency seems just right or possibly just a tiny bit thick, but i won't know that for until it cools and then is re-heated for pancakes etc.

three pints - one is staying with us, one is going to my parents and the third is going to my good buddy RIVET! if he likes it, maybe we'll start a chokecherry farm and sell chokecherry products, including a chokecherry-based barbecue glaze and also a finishing sauce!
post #8 of 14
I would have started with less sugar 4 cups seems like a lot. You can always add more but you cannot take it out if its too sweet.

It will thicken up quite a bit as it cools. Take out a couple of spoonfuls and let it cool then taste it. Let us know how it went. We had scads of choke cherries but my Grandpa cut them all down to get in more grapes.
Now I don't know where there are anywhere near here.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
i thought it might be a little too sweet at first, but as it simmered down it seemed that the concentration of the chokecherries countered the sugar just enough, leaving something that tasted pretty-well balanced. i won't know for sure until i get it on some pancakes, hopefully this weekend!

in any case, i'll definitely be picking some more chokecherries this year and will play aorund with the amounts. for my first attempt i wanted something easy to remember (2 qt juice to 4 cups sugar).
post #10 of 14
did you get the juice to start with? i may just be slow but i cant think of how to do it.
post #11 of 14
Wow, this brought back some childhood memories. biggrin.gif
post #12 of 14
You are bringing back old memories for me again my friend! My grandma made everything that could be made out of chokecherries when I was a kid. Haven't done any in a long time. Used to eat the things til my mouth nearly swelled shut. I like the idea of a chokecherry farm. We can't seem to grow much else on the ranch, I might have to try it. We could do for the chokecherry what others have done for the huckleberry, huh?!
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
jm - i picked some chokecherries and steeped/boiled/mashed/strained them into juice some time ago. had those 2 quarts sitting in the pantry for years and decided to finally do something with them.

mulepackin' any time you want to get a chokecherry enterprise going, just say the word! i think we could do it. anything chokecherry is great stuff, and i aim to be making more use of these in the future. it is one truly native-montana thing that we can pomote in this area!

p.s. - i got your PM about our mutual friend and as saddened to read it. he was a good man and montana lost one of our finest.

unfortunately, i was unable to reply as i was in the "penalty box; if you see any members of his family, please give them my condolences. they may not remember me but i worked quite closely with him in 2004 on a historical project involving the ranch's most famous bull.
post #14 of 14
OK, so I stumbled on this thread somehow. My mother used to make an absolutley wonderful chokecherry jelly when we were growing up. I still consider it the best jelly or jam I have ever had. In order to make them edible you have to add a lot of sugar. I'll check with her soon and see if she still has the recipe. BTW fruit pectin is made from fruit so I dion't understand your not wanting to use it.
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