Combine cherries and sugar in a flat-bottomed kettle; mix well, and let stand 3 to 4 hours.
Slowly bring cherry mixture to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil, stirring frequently, 15 minutes or until cherries become glossy. Remove from heat, and skim off foam with a metal spoon.
Remove cherries from syrup with a slotted spoon, and place in a shallow pan. Bring syrup to a boil; cook, stirring frequently, 10 minutes or until syrup has thickened to desired consistency. Pour syrup over cherries. Let stand, uncovered, 12 to 24 hours in a cool place. Shake pan occasionally so that the cherries will absorb the syrup and remain plump and whole. (Do not stir.)
Ladle preserves into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw bands tight. Process preserves in boiling-water bath 15 minutes.
Oxmoor House Homestyle Recipes
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