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Celestial Cherry Conserve

This recipe produces a rich, concentrated flavor that works perfectly on toast, ice cream or cheesecake. I have also had great results when substituting strawberries, blueberries, mango and complementary herbal teas. &dmash;Maureen Delves, Kamloops, British Columbia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. Process: 5 min.
  • Makes
    6 half-pints


  • 2 medium oranges
  • 6 cups fresh dark sweet cherries, pitted
  • 3-1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 individual black cherry or wild berry herbal tea bags
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 pouch (3 ounces) liquid fruit pectin


  • Grate zest from the oranges; set zest aside. Peel oranges and discard peel; chop the oranges. In a large saucepan, combine cherries, sugar, lemon juice and chopped oranges. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 6-8 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  • Meanwhile, place tea bags in a small bowl. Add boiling water. Cover and steep 5-6 minutes. Discard tea bags; add liquid to cherry mixture. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from the heat; skim off foam. Ladle hot mixture into six hot sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
  • Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
Editor's Note
The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. Add 1 minute to the processing time for each 1,000 feet of additional altitude.
Nutrition Facts
2 tablespoons: 72 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 0 sodium, 18g carbohydrate (18g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

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  • Susan
    Dec 20, 2017

    Very nice flavour combinations in this conserve. Once they had tasted it, my sons asked me to make more1 Four stars as some points in the recipe weren't clear. I added the zest with the tea (I used 'Super Berries' tea). I also substituted jamsetta (pectin rich product available in Australia) for the pectin liquid (never heard of it). I boiled the conserve until it gelled on a cold plate rather than follow the times in the recipe. PS I made no adjustment for the difference between Canadian and Australian cup and tablespoon measurements and it still worked well.

  • morr
    Jul 31, 2010

    I'm making this right now and just noticed the error in the recipe about the orange zest. My guess is that it goes in at some point between the part where you add the tea water but before the pectin. It would definitely go in before the pectin. That is what I did. A few other things:The culprit for it not thickening could be the liquid pectin. Instead of the liquid pectin, I used the regular powder pectin using this method: Ladle some of the conserve liquid from the pot into a cup. Add the powder pectin one Tablespoon at a time to the cup of liquid, stirring until all the pectin has dissolved. You're basically making a thickening paste. When the pectin in the cup is dissolved (no lumps) return it to the pot and stir. Yup, this thickened it nicely!You definitely get 7-8 half pints out of this recipe. I'm having it tonight with ice cream. This is delicious for a sweet cherry lover like myself.

  • brinlady
    Jul 26, 2010

    It's a very tasty recipe, BUT..... The instructions do not specify what to do with the zest. Just says grate and set aside. Does not say when to put back in. As the oranges are peeled, I'm assuming the zest is going to be used in the recipe. Also have made this recipe twice and it will not gel. i end up with 7 pints, not six. The author is right that the taste is complex. The taste is so good that I'm willing to experiment more with it. I used fresh sweet cherries. The first time I used fresh lemon juice; the second time, bottle. Any advice?