Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cherry Jam, Three Ways

Thanks to Murphala, we were recently able to pick a whole bunch of Montmorency cherries.   It had been years since I'd had fresh sour cherries.

I love sour cherries.

We had enough to make three batches of jam, so I tried it three different ways.   Here's the basic recipe.



Batch #1
Basic Cherry Jam
  • 4 cups pitted cherries
  • 2/3 cup water or juice
  • 3 Tablespoons Ball Low Sugar Pectin
  • 2 cups sugar
Combine the cherries, water/juice and pectin.    Bring to hard boil.  [A hard boil is one you can't stir down.]   Stir constantly and boil hard for 1 minute.    Add sugar.   Stir well and return to hard boil.   Stir constantly and boil hard for 1 minute.    Ladle into jars.  Cap with clean lids and rings.  Process for canning 10 minutes in water bath or steam canner.  

***
Easy. 

To jazz it up, I decided to do a batch with vanilla. 

Here's the thing about vanilla jam recipes.   Inevitably, they call for a vanilla bean.   Which I have.   In the freezer.   And which I am more than happy to use in jam.   That's what they're for.  

You have to split the bean and scrape out the seeds.   Not a big deal.   Except the seeds get kind of gooey and then they clump and I hate that and if you've got a pale jam, then the seeds show up and look like pepper, which can be off putting to some people.   The jam is always delicious in the end, but .... you know.... maybe there's another way.

I tried 2 Tablespoons of my homemade vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean. 

Worked like a charm.   Here's the recipe.  This one is K2's favorite.

Batch #2
Cherry Vanilla Jam
  • 4 cups pitted cherries
  • 2/3 cup water or juice
  • 3 Tablespoons Ball Low Sugar Pectin
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
Combine the cherries, water/juice and pectin.    Bring to hard boil.  [A hard boil is one you can't stir down.]   Stir constantly and boil hard for 1 minute.    Add sugar and vanilla.   Stir well and return to hard boil.   Stir constantly and boil hard for 1 minute.    Ladle into jars.  Cap with clean lids and rings.  Process for canning 10 minutes in water bath or steam canner. 

***
I've also been thinking about jazzing up the plain fruit jams with more spices like star anise and cardamom.    But I hate wasting fruit in crazy spice experiments so I did a little internet research first to see if such a beast as Sour Cherry Cardamom Jam existed.   It did!  Someone is selling it on Amazon.    And I found recipes for Cherry Cardamom Pie, so I figured the proportion of spice to cherries from those recipes.

I tried it and it was darn good!  Here's the recipe.   This one is Lily's favorite.

Batch #3

Cherry Vanilla Cardamom Jam
  • 4 cups pitted cherries
  • 2/3 cup water or juice
  • 3 Tablespoons Ball Low Sugar Pectin
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
Stir cardamom and sugar together.  Set aside.

Combine the cherries, water/juice and pectin.    Bring to hard boil.  [A hard boil is one you can't stir down.]   Stir constantly and boil hard for 1 minute.    Add sugar/cardamom mixture and vanilla.   Stir well and return to hard boil.   Stir constantly and boil hard for 1 minute.    Ladle into jars.  Cap with clean lids and rings.  Process for canning 10 minutes in water bath or steam canner.  


***

There you have it.  Cherry Jam three ways.

Next up, peach season is coming.    I'll be experimenting with peach jams, next.

3 comments:

  1. Funny, we were just on our hilltop today surveying our domain and hubby says "we need a sour cherry tree up here". ;) I would love to have a sour cherry tree.

    BTW, we totally loved your strawberry-vanilla preserve! You need to start selling your stuff; it's better than Dillman Farms stuff I've ever tasted.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Woo hoo! Three types! I'm going to try the vanilla with the cherries I have left! Glad they are going to end up being enjoyed by humans and not birds!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Are your "cups" of cherries - full cherries? diced cherries? do you ever weigh them?

    ReplyDelete

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