Chokecherry Recipes

Blossoms:  May
Ripens:  August

When the cherries are ripe, they are usually dark purple or black in color.  Sometimes there are also cherries of reddish or orange color.  When picking, pick the light red and green ones too, because they add flavor and pectin.

Any recipe that calls for sour cherry or elderberry jelly can be substituted with chokecherry fruit.  Red currant juice does not influence the chokecherry flavor as does apple juice.

Chokecherry Jam

Remove stems from chokecherries and wash, then drain.  Add 1 cup of water to each four cups of fruit.  Place over slow (or low) heat and simmer until fruit is very tender, stirring occasionally.  

Rub pulp through medium sieve.  Measure pulp and add an equal amount of sugar.  Place over moderate heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Bring to a full, rolling boil until mixture "sheets."  Stir frequently.

Pour into hot, sterile jars filling 3/4 of the jar.  Seal and process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes, then cool.  You may freeze if you choose.  Three cups of pulp make about 3 half pints of jam.

Chokecherry Apple Butter

4 cups apple pulp
2 cups chokecherry pulp
5 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Prepare pulp of both fruits first by putting cooked fruit (unsweetened) through a sieve or food mill.  Heat to a boil, stirring carefully.  Add sugar.  Stir constantly until it just begins to thicken.  Add extract and blend.  

Ladle into sterilized hot jars to within 1/4 inch of the top of jar.  Wipe rims.  Adjust lids.  Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes at 5,000 feet or 15 minutes above 6,000 feet.  Remove from canner.  Makes 8 half pints.

Chokecherry Syrup with Pectin

4 cups chokecherry juice
1 package powdered pectin
4 cups sugar

Combine juice, sugar and pectin in a large kettle.  Bring to a boil and cook until mixture coats a metal spoon (like gravy does).  Pour into warm half pint or pint jars.  Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes at 5,000 feet or 15 minutes above 6,000 feet.

Chokecherry Syrup without Pectin

4 cups chokecherry juice
1 cup light corn syrup
4 cups sugar

Combine ingredients in pan and boil for 3 minutes.  Pour into warm pint or half-pint jars.  Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes at 5,000 feet or 15 minutes above 6,000 feet.

Pioneer Chokecherry Syrup

4 cups chokecherry juice
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 cups sugar

Cook over medium heat until mixture coats the spoon (like gravy does).  Refrigerate for immediate use or pour into clean hot jars and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes for half-pints at 5,000 feet or 15 minutes for pints above 6,000 feet.

Chokecherry Pie

1 9" baked pie shell
2 cups chokecherry juice
3 level tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
small pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Cook ingredients until thick, stirring constantly.  Cool.  Pour into pie shell and chill.  Serve with whipped cream or cream topping.