How do I? ...Can Fruits

Selecting, Preparing and Canning Fruit

Sweet Cherry Topping

  • 5 cups pitted, halved Bing cherries (about 2.5 pounds as purchased)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 pouch liquid pectin (3 fl. oz.)

Yield: 2 pints

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.


1.  Wash and rinse pint or half-pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to fill.  Prepare lids and screw bands according to manufacturer’s directions.

2.  Wash cherries well under running water; remove stems and pits.  Cut cherries in half. 

3.  Measure 5 cups of pitted, halved cherries into a 4-quart Dutch oven. Stir in water.  Heat over medium-high heat while stirring to prevent sticking and scorching.  Simmer until cherries are softened enough to mash with a potato masher, about 8 to 10 minutes.   

4.  Mash cherries with a potato masher.  Then stir in 2 cups sugar thoroughly.  While stirring over high heat, bring to a full boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil 1 minute.

5.  Remove from heat.  Stir in complete pouch of liquid pectin until thoroughly combined.  Skim foam from top.

6.  Pour hot cherry topping into clean hot jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims with a clean, dampened paper towel and adjust two-piece metal lids and bands. 

7.  Process in a boiling water canner according to the recommendations in Table 1.  Let cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours and check for seals.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Sweet Cherry Topping in a boiling-water canner.
  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Half-pints or Pints 15 min 20 25

Developed at The University of Georgia, Athens, for the National Center for Home Food Preservation.  Released by Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Family and Consumer Sciences.  July 2008.

Additional Note:  Refrigerate any leftover topping after filling jars, and enjoy freshly made!  

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