As you know – I made strawberry jam last month which my son really loves on his toast, bagels, croissants and scones. This week, I managed to get a huge box of cherries from the local farmers market. Some of the cherries were really sweet and ripe so I decided to pick those out to make jam following a recipe similar to the strawberry jam recipe adding only the natural ingredients.
Ingredients for 2 bottles of jam:
- 500 gms of cherries washed and pitted
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2-3 tbls lemon juice
1. Wash and cut the cherries and remove the stone. There are various ways to remove the stone shown in this video. Some messy = some clean!! I used a sharp knife but still got some red cherry spray on the table so I would advice you to cover the work tops with old newspaper and wear an apron if you don’t want to get red spray every where.
2. Transfer the cherries to a non reactive pot to cook. I used a microwave dish and cooked my cherries in the microwave at 2 minute intervals until they were soft and juicy. It took me 8 minutes.
Once cooked, either weigh the cherries and juices or measure them using a cup. My cooked strawberries with its juices measures 2 cups so I added used ¾ cup of sugar and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to the cherries. The sugar is essential as it acts as a preservative and the lemon juice adds pectin to the jam and helps it to gel too. As you add sugar – the mixture will get watery. Cook this mixture quickly in a non reactive saucepan for 20 – 25 minute stirring every 2-3 minutes to stop it sticking to the bottom. Keep stirring until until the jam looks thick gel and looks like its ready to set. Do not overcook the jam as the sugar will caramelise and the jam will be ruined.
To test the right timing for the jam to be set – keep a saucer in the freezer. Once the mixture has been boiling for 10 minutes, take the saucer out of the freezer and place a spoonful on the the jam on the saucer. Return the saucer back to the freezer for a minute. Run a finger through the middle of the jam and if the jam doesn’t feel runny, the jam is ready to be bottled.
Once the jam is ready, transfer it to sterilized bottles and enjoy the jam on your scones like I did.
Can’t resist showing you the glut of cherries flooding our markets this week all competing for your custom.