Sunday, 15 July 2012

Awesome Cherry Jam

I love cherries and I love jam so cherry season is one of my favourite times of year. It seems that when the developers were planting up the local park they really took the name of the area, Cherry Hinton, on board. Most of the trees produce very small sour cherries which are great for making this awesome jam. When I first when out cherry picking yesterday I thought I had missed the boat, the trees that I came across were good for eating but everything within reach had already been snapped up, plus the gallons of rain we have had recently meant that those that were left had split. A little further on though and we found some real gems. Trees laden with small bright fruits and no climbing required. 

How gorgeous are these little gems?

After about 45 minutes we had collected a massive hoard of 1.8kg!!! Here they are all lovely and clean.



I find the best way to stone these little beauties is just to squeeze them gently, be extra careful with the dark ones because the juice is bright pink and stains!!!! The cherries are really soft and the stones just slip out. 



With the stones removed the remaining cherrys and juice amounted to 1.4kg of fruit.  As cherrys are low in pectin, I use jam sugar with added pectin, for 1.4kg of fruit I used 1.6kg of sugar. Here is the basic recipe for jam making (adjust quantities accordingly):

800g prepared fruit
1kg of jam sugar
knob of butter or cooking oil (optional)

Heavy based saucepan
Sterilised jam jars and lids
Small plate or Sugar thermometer
Jam funnel (optional)

Start off by popping a small plate (if using) in the fridge for testing setting point later on. Simmer the fruit in a large heavy based pan until softened.  Add the sugar and knob of butter or a little oil if using (I don't bother with this but it is supposed to reduce scum).  Stir in the sugar until dissolved and bring to a rolling boil (vigorous bubbles that don't reduce when stirred), then time for 4 minutes. 



To test if the setting point has been reached drop a little jam on the saucer from the fridge, allow to cool and then push with your finger, setting pint has bean reached if the jam crinkles on the surface. If setting point is not reached the return to the boil for a couple more minutes and test again. If you have a sugar thermometer test for setting point by placing the thermometer in to the boiling sugar setting point will have been reached when the temperature is 104.5c. Once setting point has been reached it's time to jar-up while the jam is still hot. Stir gently to disperse any scum or skim this off into a spare jar, there's nothing wrong with it it just looks a bit manky. I don't have a sugar thermometer because for me the cold plate test works fine but I do have a jam funnel which makes potting up much less messy than it used to be. Pour the jam into sterilised jars, seal with a lid and allow to cool. Label so you don't forget what's inside, I used washi tapes that I made last week after following the excellent tutorial at claireabellemakes

 

4 comments:

  1. Ooh that jam looks lovely, and the labels very nice too! Thanks for the mention.

    I've never made jam before, but have always wanted to try.

    Are you going to be singing Jerusalem next?! ;-)

    Claire x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should do it, it can be messy but isn't too complicated.

      I'm afraid I don't know the words (apart from the bits in Four Weddings and a Funeral, something about Satanic mills?).

      Michaela x

      Delete
  2. This looks good! I am making jam right now with fresh blackcurrants and raspberries from the garden. I was just contemplating labels - think I will try out Claire's tutorial too.

    Thanks! Sophie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds lovely. Not enough raspberries for me this year though.

      Michaela x

      Delete

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