Rinse, stem, and pit the cherries, if using fresh, and place in a nonreactive pan. Add the sugar and stir it in. Add the cinnamon stick and bring to a boil over low heat, stirring frequently. Skim off the froth that rises to the surface.
At the boil, remove the cherries to a bowl with a slotted spoon or skimmer. Insert a candy thermometer in the syrup and cook until the syrup reaches 220 degrees, continuing to skim froth as necessary.
Add the cherries and the juice that has accumulated with them to the pan and continue cooking until the syrup again reaches 220 degrees.
Pack the boiling conserva into 6 hot, sterilized half-pint mason jars, filling them to within
If you do not wish to keep the conserva a long time, cool it and store in plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Store the conserva in the refrigerator up to several months.
© 1990 Nick Malgieri. All rights reserved.