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Chokecherry recipes

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Hi, I have access to a lot of wild chokecherries. I will probably try to make some jelly since I will be making other types of jam/ jelly this year and might as well do some choke cherry, too.

Any favorite recipes or uses for choke cherries? My Ball book of canning has no chokecherry recipes at all. I don't think sour cherry recipes would necessarily work either, since chokecherries are so much smaller and more astringent.


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  1. Hi,

    I also have tons of chokecherries growing around the house... I've made jam two years in a row by cooking them down, then de-seeding them (a truly annoying job), and re-cooking with sugar, then canning. Recipes I've found online have suggested a 1:1 ratio of pulp to sugar, which I never tried. Last year I did 3 cups pulp to 2 cups sugar and it set very well without any other ingredients. But my mother, who was helping me de-seed this year, said last year's was too sweet, so we did 2:1. It turned out really, really syrupy.

    Which brings me to my next chokecherry project - chokecherry ice cream. I'm going to make a custard and add the chokecherry syrup and see what happens. I am going to do this tomorrow.

    Good luck!

    1. I grew up eating homemade jams and jellies: chokecherry jelly was good, but if the batch didn't set, we would have chokecherry syrup, which is especially good on pancakes or icecream. I continue to make it for my family now. The recipe we use comes from "Original Certo" recipes.

      Stem 3 quarts fruit. Add 3 cups water; bring to a boil and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Extract juice by placing cooked fruit in a jelly bag (I have a bag made from a cotton tea towel, sewn down the sides, that i use each year). The recipes says to twist bag and press to extract the juice, or for clearer jelly, use 11/2 times fruit called for in recipe and let juice drip through with no squeezing. I put the fruit in the bag, tie the bag shut with string and tie it to a cupboard doorhandle and let it drip overnight - by morning you are ready to proceed. The jelly recipe: bring 3 cups prepared juice to a full rolling boil, add 61/2 cups sugar, return to a full boil, add 2 pouches Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin, stirring until mixture returns to a full boil. Boil hard 1 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim if necessary. Pour into jars and seal.

      The older generation suggest that if you pick the chokecherries when they are slightly underripe, the berries have more natural pectin, and it is not necessary to add pectin to get the jelly to set - I prefer to add the pectin anyway. Hope this helps - I can't imagine trying to de-seed chokecherries.

      1. There is no need to spend time de-seeding them. Push pulp through a medium sieve for jam. I used this info and it works well: http://www.kiowacd.org/Tips_Links/cho...

        1. I've had homemade chokecherry wine and it wasn't bad.

          1. Hi Jitterbug I have been tring to find chokecherrys in the metro area, all I have found is Black Cherrys. Any help that you could give me to locate Chokecherrys would be great.

            1 Reply
            1. re: steve1959

              Black cherries are Chokecherries.........

            2. If anyone is still reading this topic at this time of year, or this maybe useful for next summer: First, for Steve 1959, chokecherries are not big black Bing cherries. I read somewhere that out west, where they grow abundantly, there is an effort afoot to make them more commercial and the word "chokecherry" just won't do it, so they are re-naming them "black cherries." As to availability I have never seen chokecherries for sale anywhere. Good luck finding them in a Metro area. They grow wild in hedgerows in many areas of Canada, we go out and pick ours near Sault Ste. Marie. Lots of jelly, etc. can be purchased online, though. Second: the best recipe here is the one from CanadaFarmerGirl below. I note they have taken it off their recipe sheet. The recipe I like is from "Home & Family Net" from the Association of Saskatchewan Home Economists and if you Google "Chokecherry Recipes" it comes right up. There are many listed, including a nice punch. Finally, to extract the juice I just use 3 layers of cheesecloth. If it is a good year we make up a couple extra quarts of syrup and freeze, jelly can then be made all year. Chokecherries are a real conversation piece, so if you can make some jelly it can make a nice unusual gift. Excellent as a pork glaze, or with chicken or turkey instead of cranberry sauce. So nice to see people interested in this old-fashioned berry....

              1 Reply
              1. re: grandmanel

                I do not know what you call a black cherry where you are from,I looked at a recipe that was making jelly on this web site and the cherries are huge compared to the black cherry that grows on the trees in Missouri,they are the size of small peas and very dark,they grow several on one stem, My Grandmother had a very very large tree in her back yard.We made jelly every July,as they are ripe the second week to the third week,if you can beat the birds to them.I am looking for the recipe to make this jelly,I do not know how many cherries you need for the jelly.Any help would be great. Thanks !!!!!!!!!!!