Sour Cherry Jam
Delicious Sour Cherry Jam
When I started this site I was planning on talking about cherries health benefits, but as I did my research I kept running into a world of other subjects related to cherries including lots of really great recipes. Ever since I was a kid I loved a nice helping of jelly or jam on my toast every morning, and I still do. My favorite was always cherry, but sometimes it was hard to find since I lived in an area where there were no cherry trees for probably a thousand miles. Even today it is still hard to find it at times. Occasionally you may see a jar at one of the chain stores, but those large companies just can't seem to get the hang of it. Anyway, here is a nice recipe for sour cherry jam I found and it is really delicious.
First you are going to need around three pounds of cherries. If you are fortunate enough to be near a cherry farm and they are in season, that is fantastic. I usually have to use the frozen ones, and though they still have that wonderful cherry taste, I would love to be in a location where I could buy fresh ones. Next you need to have either six 8 ounce jars or 3 pint jars that have been thoroughly sterilized. Your dishwasher will be fine for that, but if you don't have one just wash them in some hot water in your sink and then let them boil for five or ten minutes. Let them stand in the hot water until you are ready to use them. Doing this will prevent them from cracking or breaking when you add the hot jam. You can also drop the lids into the water after it has stopped boiling.
You will need to get your cherries cleaned and pitted at some point. Some people have a little tool made especially for pitting cherries, but you can just use a knife. You are going to cut them into small pieces anyway and it is not like they aren't going to taste the same either way.
Once you have your cherries ready to put into your sour cherry jam, measure out four cups of sugar. Take ¼ cup of the sugar and add it to a box of pectin and stir this mix into your cherries. Then put your cherries on the stove on a medium heat and stir until they start boiling. This will probably be around ten minutes. If you don't constantly stir your cherries they could very easily burn, so don't leave out this step.
After your cherries have started boiling, add the rest of the sugar. This will stop the boiling process for a few minutes, but it will start back up fairly quickly. Boil the mixture for another couple of minutes and them remove from the heat. Your cherries will have produced a foam that will float to the top and can be skimmed off at this point.
Now your sour cherry jam is ready for pouring into the jars. Pour your jam into jars until they around ¼ inch from the top. Put your lid on firmly and tighten the ring. After this is accomplished, put your jar in boiling water with the tops covered for around five or six minutes. Boiling your sour cherry jam will help prevent spoilage, but you don't want to boil it too long. Now just remove the jars from the water and sit them somewhere to cool. Don't let them touch each other or anything else. After they have cooled lightly push the lids to make sure they are sealed good. There should be no problems but if one hasn't sealed, go ahead and put it in the refrigerator and it can be the first jar to eat.
They will last longer, but I like to eat my sour cherry jam within six or eight months. They are still good to eat after that, but they start getting a little runny. That is usually no problem around my house. Unless a really big batch is made they don't last six months.
Anyway, there you are. If you would like to try this recipe I don't think you will have any trouble at all, and the great taste will be worth it. However, if you are not into homemade cooking but still would like to have some of that great cherry taste, there are various companies on the internet where you can have cherry jams, jellies or preserves delivered to your door.