There is some controversy over whether to leave the pits in the cherries or not. Pits supposedly enhance the flavor but can also crack a tooth. Eugenia Bone usually opts to remove them.Plus: More Dessert Recipes and Tips
In a large, heavy pot, combine the cherries and sugar. Cover and bring to a boil over low heat, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer until the liquid is slightly thickened and glossy and the cherries float in the liquid, about 10 minutes. Add the basil and cook for 2 minutes. Pack the cherries and their juices into 4 hot sterilized 1-quart jars, stopping 1/2 inch from the top. Wipe the glass rims and close the jars. Set them in a water bath and bring to a boil. Process for 20 minutes.