I’m happy to once again be participating as a Canbassador. I received some sweet dark red cherries that are as delicious as the season is fleeting. Preserving them is the best way to savor them a little bit longer. Last year I canned some cherries with bourbon. I can’t find the recipe I used and frankly I put the jars so far back in my pantry that I forgot about them until a couple of weeks ago. I just opened the first jar and they turned out to be delicious. I probably got the idea from SweetPreservation.com.
This year I used my cherries to make one batch of cherry pie filling and jars of cherry barbecue sauce. I looked at a couple of recipes, but mostly my recipe is adapted from a recipe from Taste of Home magazine. While the technique is the same, I switched up the seasonings, decreased the sugar and blended it smooth.
The sauce is really good on pulled pork. You can try it with this super easy recipe I developed for preparing it in the slow cooker. But it would also be great on ribs or brisket. It's rich and has just the right balance of tangy and spicy notes--so much better than anything you can buy in the store!
Cherry BBQ Sauce
Makes about 5 pints
1 Tablespoon mild flavored oil such as canola or rice bran
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups fresh or frozen dark sweet cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1-2 teaspoons ground black pepper
In a large saucepan heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook for five minutes until soft but not brown. Add the remaining ingredients with the exception of the black pepper. Simmer the ingredients for 20 minutes then blend in a blender or using a stick blender, until smooth. Add a teaspoon of pepper and then taste. Add more pepper if desired.
Pour sauce into sterilized pint jars, seal and refrigerate or process in a hot water bath for 20 minutes.