Friday, July 10, 2009

Cherry Jams

Cherries are in season right now & on sale at all the stores in town. I know they aren't local but being a good Michigander Matt loves his cherries. I thought I'd only have enough cherries for one batch of jam but it ended up I had 8 cups of pitted cherries which was enough for two. I did one traditional batch. The cinnamon & cloves in it are optional but they are flavors we like so I added them. The flavor of the cloves really comes through here so if you don't like cloves skip it.
Cherry Jam

Traditional Cherry Jam
(from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)

4 c sweet cherries, pitted & chopped (about 2 lbs)
1/4 c lemon juice
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground cloves
1 package (1.75 oz) powdered pectin
5 c sugar

Prepare the jars & lids for canning. Jars should be boiled in water for 20 minutes & lids for 5 minutes.

In a large enamel or stainless steel saucepan combine the cherries, lemon juice, cinnamon & cloves. Whisk in the pectin until completely dissolved. Turn heat to high & bring to a boil. Stir in the sugar all at once. Return to a boil. Boil hard while stirring for 1 more minute. Remove from heat & skim of foam.

Ladle into eight hot sterilized half-pint jars leaving about 1/4-inch headroom. Clean off the tops of the jars & cover with a lid. Close with a neckband & finger-tighten. Process in boiling water for 10 minutes. Turn off heat & let sit for 5 minutes. Remove jars from the water to a heat-proof surface & let cool for 12 - 24 hours (do not dry jars). Check to make sure the top of the jar has been drawn downwards, creating a seal. If it hasn't either reprocess that jar or store it in the fridge to be eaten within 3 weeks. Remove the neckbands & store jam in a cool dark place.

Makes 6 - 8 cups (the recipe said it would make 8 we only got 6)

Black Forest Preserves
I decided to make something a little different for the second batch & remembered seeing Black Forest Preserves on Today's Menu. Chocolate with cherries I figure it had to be good. I added a cup more cherries than the recipe called for because I had them & because the basic cherry jam recipe with liquid pectin called for 4 cups so I figured it would work. I used Hershey's Special Dark (my favorite) for the cocoa which gives an intense chocolate flavor & a really dark color to the jam. Now I probably wouldn't put this jam on my toast in the morning but I can imagine it on a croissant or french toast, spread between layers of a cake or as the filling for turnovers. It'll probably even be good warmed up a little over ice cream.

Black Forest Preserves
(adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)

6 1/2 c sugar
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
3 - 4 c sweet cherries, pitted & chopped (the recipe calls for black cherries, i used red)
1/2 c lemon juice
2 pouches (6 oz) liquid pectin
1/2 t almond extract (or 1/4 c amaretto)

Prepare the jars & lids for canning. Jars should be boiled in water for 20 minutes & lids for 5 minutes.

Mix the sugar & cocoa together & set it aside.

In a large enamel or stainless steel pot combine the cherries and lemon juice. Stir in the sugar & cocoa. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat while stirring. The boil should not stop when stirred. Stir in the pectin. Boil hard for 1 minute while stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in the almond extract. Skim off foam.

Ladle into eight hot sterilized half-pint jars leaving about 1/4-inch headroom. Clean off the tops of the jars & cover with a lid. Close with a neckband & finger-tighten. Process in boiling water for 10 minutes. Turn off heat & let sit for 5 minutes. Remove jars from the water to a heat-proof surface & let cool for 12 - 24 hours (do not dry jars). Check to make sure the top of the jar has been drawn downwards, creating a seal. If it hasn't either reprocess that jar or store it in the fridge to be eaten within 3 weeks. Remove the neckbands & store jam in a cool dark place.

Makes 8 cups

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

11 comments:

Grace said...

i was THRILLED to see cherries at a reasonable price, and jam is an awesome way to prolong their glory. that black forest version sounds absolutely heavenly, and i would so enjoy it. great post!

Sara said...

Yeah for cherries! Turnover filling is a great idea for the black forest preserves, too. I agree, they're definitely not a good candidate for topping your morning toast... but they're still awfully good. :)

Foodycat said...

How luxurious! Black cherry jam is one of my favourites but I never dreamed that there could be one with chocolate!

Tangled Noodle said...

Black Forest preserves sounds fantastic! I've never done any canning - I'm convinced I'll be that person who does it incorrectly and ends up poisoning my family with botulism. What I really need to do is have my MIL spend a weekend to teach me properly.

Then I can make some of these awesome preserves myself instead of just drooling over them on your site.

Indigo said...

I'm on such a cherry kick right now - possibly my favourite summer fruit! And ohmydays, black forest preserves are the most genius idea I've ever heard of. Adding chocolate? I seriously have to have me some of that.

Lori said...

I am so far behind on your recipes. What a delicious week! This sounds wonderful and reminds me that at some point I am going to make it to Michigan for a true cherry season.

Lori said...

The black forest cherries really caught my eye. Delicious Kat.

Maris said...

Your cherry jam sounds amazing! I would love that on a big thick slice of toasted oatmeal bread in the morning,

I need to learn how to do my own jarring/canning someday!

stephchows said...

HI! I'm hosting a jam exchange and was wondering if you'd like to join in?? I'm trying to gather a whole bunch of people and all it takes is being willing to mail 2 jars of jam to someone. All the info to sign up is here: http://stephchows.blogspot.com/2009/07/jam-exchange.html

Hope you can join in!

Brisbane Hotels said...

Cherry jam is great! love cherries as well as jam, any jam will do. Thanks for the recipe and the way how to preserve it. Will surely do this and give as gifts to my friends.

Casey Angelova said...

We have 250 cherry trees, so I never run short on cheap cherries. This was the first year I tried to preserve some and I used the recipe you listed as a guiding post. I added more cherries closer to 5 cups, 1/3 lime juice, and only 1 oz powdered apple pectin and I dry roasted whole cloves then crushed them before adding to the mix. I could have skimmed a little better, but I am quite happy with the results. If I only had your jazzy labels.

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