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Whole Cherry Preserves
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Pick through cherries and remove blemished cherries and remove pits. Put sugar in a large heavy bottom non aluminum pot. Let stand, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves, 5 or 10 minutes. Add the star anise and simmer over low heat, stirring from time to time, for 15 minutes. Remove the star anise and stir in the pitted cherries and the honey. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 1 3/4 hours, increasing the heat to medium low after about 1 1/2 hours. Be careful the preserves do not scorch. Meanwhile wash 4 pint jars or 8 half pint jars. Keep hot until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer directs. After the first 45 minutes of cooking the preserves begin to set for the gel point with a thermometer. You're there when the thermometer reads: 220 degrees at sea level to 1,000feet 218 degrees at 1,000 feet 216 degrees at 2,000 feet 214 degrees at 3,000 feet 212 degrees at 4,000 feet 211 degrees at 5,000 feet 209 degrees at 6,000 feet 207 degrees at 7,000 feet 205 degrees at 8,000 feet Ladle the hot preserves into 1 hot jar at a time leaveing 1/4 inch heat space. Wipe jar rim with a clean, damp cloth. Attach lid . Fill and close remaining jars. Process pints or half pints in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (15 minutes at 1,000 feet to 6,000 feet; 20 minutes above 6,000 feet).
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