Wild and Free!

Chokecherry syrup is one of our favorite treats provided from the prairies here in Southern Alberta – it’s wild and free! August is harvest time for this wild and free fruit – but pay heed to the name – transforming it into syrup takes the ‘choke’ out of it. It’s delectable on toast or buckwheat pancakes.

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CHOKECHERRY JUICE

  1. Wash in cool water and pick out leaves and any fruit that floats to the top. Drain.
  2. Place in a large stainless steel pot and just cover with filtered or spring water.
  3. Bring to a boil and  simmer 15 -30 minutes until soft.
  4. Cool and strain through  a cloth, cone-shaped fruit press or jelly bag. When extracting juice from chokecherries DO NOT crush the seeds – they contain a cyanide-forming compound which can cause illness or death if eaten in large amounts. .

One pound of chokecherries will yield close to 2 cups of juice. I had  two 1 gallon pails more than 3/4 full of ripe chokecherry’s and got 14 cups of juice.

CHOKECHERRY SYRUP

  • 12 cups chokecherry juice
  • 4 cups sugar

Combine ingredients and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into hot, sterilized canning jars (place clean jars in a 220F oven for 10 minutes to sterilize). Seal with two-piece canning lids (boil for 5 minutes in a sauce pan to sterilize).

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