My cherry tree got hit by a windstorm at blossomtime this year, so I didn’t get much fruit.
Rather than blow it all on a couple pies, I made Maraschino cherries:
4 1/2 lb Pitted red cherries
4 1/2 lb White sugar
3 c Water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 oz Almond extract
1 oz Red coloring
2 qt Water
2 tb Salt
1 ts Alum
Soak pitted cherries overnight in heated brine.
The next morning, drain cherries. Rinse in cold water to remove Alum.
Mix cherries, water, sugar, lemon juice, and red coloring. Heat to boiling.
Let stand 24 hours. Drain and boil juices, pour over cherries and let stand a day.
Repeat drain and boil. Add almond extract and cherries. Pack in
hot sterilized jars and seal (25 min in an unpressurized cooker)
Getting the pits out while leaving the stem attached is a bit tricky. Martha Stewart recommends a bent paperclip. I ended up using a small, curved surgical forcep. Poked in from the side, you work it over the top of the pit, close it to sever stem from seed, then grab the pit and pull out.