I moved to a ranch house along the creek bottoms about two years ago, and this place is loaded with choke cherries. They grow in my yard and along the bridge over the creek. I had never tasted or used them before we moved here, but I quickly decided that I will not let any free food go unused...least of all fruit! So. I perused Pinterest, recipe books and Google for a chokecherry jelly recipe. And I found some. Problem was, they all are different, and some don't work right. Finally I found two and kinda combined them to come up with my own that is pretty much perfect. At least in my opinion. :)
The method is pretty easy, actually. At least the way I do it.
First, have your kids pick the cherries. :)
Drain. You will notice there are some green berries in my bowl, and the tiny stems are all still on. Its OK. They really don't matter. The pioneers used a certain portion of green berries in their jam instead of pectin. I don't recommend that route. I tried it and was sadly disappointed.
Put in a large kettle and fill with water till the cherries are just covered.
Drain the juice in a large bowl,
You should have your jars and lids ready before you start the jelly process...
When the 2 minutes are up, you can skim the foam off if you like. It doesn't have to be skimmed off, but looks prettier/clearer if you do.
Note:: This picture is of a double recipe. One recipe yields about 5 pints.
3.5 cups chokecherry juice
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 pkg dry pectin (1.75 oz)
4 1/2 cups of sugar
Pour juices in kettle.
Add pectin, stir.
Bring to a boil, add sugar.
Boil and stir for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat, skim.
Ladle into jars.
Process in hot water bath for 5 minutes.
Cool undisturbed for 24 hours.
Here's the pectin I use: