Saturday, June 23, 2007

Cherry Preserves

Two weeks ago, my friend Jane and I went cherry picking, as is our annual tradition, and picked about 25 pounds of cherries. Unfortunately, by the time I decided to start canning everything, I had eaten my portion of the haul. Lucky for me, the market had some very inexpensive Bings, and I happily bought them up yesterday to make cherry jam. This recipe is from Martha Stewart and makes 4 half-pints. I'm not going to include canning instructions, just the actual jam-making ones, but you can easily look that up on her website, or just follow the directions that come with your canning jars.

4 pounds ripe cherries, pitted
2 C plus 6 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs lemon juice

Place a small plate in the freezer.

Over medium heat, combine the cherries with about 1/4 C of the sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved, about 2-3 minutes. Add about 1/3 of the remaining sugar and stir until dissolved. Repeat with two more batches of sugar. Place a candy thermometer in the mixture and bring to a boil.

Stirring frequently, cook until the jam reaches 220 degrees, about 30-40 minutes. To see if it's ready, try a "gel test": put a spoonful of jam on the plate in the freezer, leave for one minute. When you take the plate out, give the jam a little nudge with your finger. If it's ready, there will be a film over the top that will wrinkle a bit. If it's not, the jam will be too thin to form a film. If so, cook for a few more minutes and do another test.

Proceed with canning, according to the instructions that come with your jars.

No comments: