Cherries are without a doubt one of our favourite Summer fruits. No matter how many packs we buy, they get over in a couple of days time. I look forward to seeing them in stores by mid May and when I do, a pack is definitely coming home with us! This year, we take turns in doing grocery shopping and Jobin is the one who does most of our Target shopping. I often tell him how much I miss going there and walking around casually looking at all the wonderful fruits and produce! It’s all done in a rush these days. Get into the store as quick as you can and get out even quicker.
Talking about doing things quickly reminded me of how I work in my kitchen. I love to cook but I do not believe in spending a lot of time in the kitchen just cooking and doing dishes. I want everything to be done quickly, without wasting time. I sometimes feel that I push our children also into doing things quickly, unknowingly. I try to slow down at times but then the itch to finish things begins quickly! 🙂 Are you guys like me? I am sure, I am not alone in this race against time. I always feel that my biggest competition is myself. It’s not just in the kitchen… I am always trying to better myself from what I was yesterday. I sometimes fail but I pick myself up and try again! It’s a never ending process but a happy, satisfying one!
I have been making jams and jellies for a while now and I love how quick the whole process is and in the end, you are rewarded with multiple bottles of goodness that you can use over the year and even gift to friends, especially around the Holidays. We go through quite a bit of jam yearly because we love our jammy treats. I use them on our toasts, plop some on my thumbprint cookies and also sandwich my cookies with them. I enjoy thinning it out with some fruit juice which complements the jam and sometimes even water and use it to serve alongside my cheesecake, pannacotta, cakes etc. It’s very versatile and handy to have them with you throughout the year! This wonderful jam recipe comes from MJ.
Makes 2 cups
20 ounces pitted fresh cherries
10 ounces white granulated sugar
Juice of one lemon
Method: Roughly chop the cherries and add to a large pot with tall sides. Add the sugar and lemon juice and cook on medium heat until the sugar melts. Increase the heat so that the mixture comes to a full boil. Cook until the jam reaches 220F on a candy thermometer or when a drop of jam poured onto a cold plate, sets.
Ladle the hot jam into clear, sterilized bottles and let it cool completely. Put the caps on and refrigerate until its used up. If you are canning it, you don’t have to refrigerate it.
* There are many ways to check if the jam is done. Using a candy thermometer makes the guess work much easier. You could also do a sheet test or a single string test. Some even draw a line in the hot mixture and if you can see the bottom of the jam pot, it’s ready.
The colour of this cherry jam is so lovely! Once I was done making it, I somehow just didn’t feel like washing the pot. It was a lovely deep purple-pink. I don’t know how else to describe the colour! 🙂 When you make the jam this way, the cherry pieces are still visible in the end product. If you don’t like it that way, you can quickly blitz the cherries once you roughly chop them using an immersion blender. I have seen people do it once the jam is cooked and before it’s bottled. I like to bite into fruit pieces so I’ve kept the cherries roughly chopped.
Some fruits have natural pectin in them and some not so much. Cherries do not have enough pectin to make the jam set, so lemon juice is used to help it reach the desired consistency. So do not skip it altogether. The jam does not taste of lemon. I hope you like it!