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Choke Cherry Jelly

I spotted a patch of choke cherry trees on the way to visit my folks in Amenia. We sure had fun picking them on a steep riverside bank with Grandpa. I compare choke cherry trees to elderberries. They give an extra pucker to your taste buds and are loaded with the magic of sunshine and goodness not too many people tend to eat. Grandma’s secret jelly stash she won’t let anyone else have.


We picked enough berries to fill a large 12 quart stock pot.

Added water to just below the top of the berries in the pot.

Boil the berries gently for about 40 minutes to release the juices into the water.

Strain out the berries from the juice.

The remainder was about 6 cups of juice.

Add 6 cups of sugar to the juice.

Juice of 1 lemon.

5-6 tablespoons of pectin

Boil the juice for 1 hour or so, or until the juice has reduced enough to start to gel. I always do a gel test in a small dish and put it in the freezer for a few mins to see if it gels. If it doesn’t gel, I keep cooking. There are times I have to reboil a batch of jelly because it doesn’t set. If this happens, add more sugar and pectin.

This recipe is for approximately 3, 16 oz. jars of jelly.

You can scale up depending on how many berries you pick.

Your choke cherry jelly will keep for a year or more. It is great for gift for the teachers at the kids schools or gifts of health for your friends and family.


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