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11 September, 2015

Sour Cherry Jam

Comments : 4 Posted in : Chutneys & Relishes on by : Ratna Tags: , ,

 

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It  popped.  It  really  did.

Canning,  preserving,  or  making  jams  is  something  I  stayed  away  from,  for  the  longest  time.  I  always  thought  it  was  a  very  unforgiving  procedure.  The  faliure  would  manifest  not  right  away  but  much  later,  the  day  when  you  open  the  jar  to  taste  the  jam.

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This  year  my  sour  Cherry  tree  prompted  me  to  do  otherwise.  We  had  a  bumper  crop.  We  enjoyed  them  with  squinted  eyes,  took  them  to  work,  to  my  friends  and  neighbour’s  place.  The  birds  had  their  share.  We  still  had  leftovers.

untitled-3I  had  no  other  choice  but  to  delve  into  the  virtual  world  to  look  for  recipes  for  Sour  cherries.  As  soon  as  I  let  my  intention  and  lack of experience  out,  at  work,  I  got  friendly  advice  from  all  quarters.  ”  I  just  saw  cherry  pitter  was  on  sale  at  Superstore’  said  one. “Whatever  you  do  make  sure  the  jars  are  bone  dry”,  warned  another.  “Bernardin”  mason  jars  were  purchased  by  the  dozens.

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My  hair  pulled  back  in  a  ponytail,  glasses  perched  on  my  nose,  I  worked  like  a  machine.  The  cherry  pitter  was  put  to  use.  Stockpots  were  filled  with  water.  The  counter  top  of  my  kitchen  did  not  have  any  room  left.  Measuring  cups,  funnel,  metal  tongs,  small  plates  for  “gel  test’,  mounds  of  cherry  seeds,  sugar  jar,  squeezed  lemon  skin,  kitchen  towels  and  more  kitchen  towels,  it  was  a  scene  from  a  crazy  laboratory.  My  poor  husband  played  it  safe.  He  crossed  the  periphery  of  the  kitchen  a  few  times  without  saying  a  word.

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As  the  last  of  the  jam  filled  jars  were  put on  the  counter  top,  It  was  way  beyond  supper  time.  We  sat  for  supper  in  silence,  eyes  fixed  on  the  jars.  Then,  just  then,  I  heard  the  sweetest  sound.  It  popped.  The  lids  were  vacuum  sealed .  I  passed!  That  was  exactly  my  feeling.

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Recipe:  Adapted  from  Martha  Stewart’s  recipe  with  minor  changes.

Yield:  Two  and  a  half  250  ml  Mason  jars.

Ingredients;

Evan’s Sour  Cherries,  washed  and  pitted                               Eight  Cups

Sugar                                                                                          Four  cups

Juice  from  one  lemon

Method;

Place  a  round  wire  rack  in  the  bottom  of  a  large  stockpot.  Stand  three  jars  on  the  rack.  Add  the  lids  to  the  pot.  Fill  it  up  with  water,  completely  immersing  the  jars.  Be  sure  to  leave  about  two inches  space  from  the  rim  of  the  stockpot,  so  that  water  does  not  overflow.  Simmer  at  about  180  degrees,  until  you  are  ready  to  fill  them  with  the  jam.  Place  a  couple  small  plates  in  the  freezer.

In  another  medium  stockpot  combine  the  cherries,  sugar  and  lemon  juice.  Bring  it  to  a  full  boil.  Stir  frequently  to  avoid  sticking  to  the  bottom  of  the  pot.  It  took  about  one  and  half  hour  for  this  to  thicken  to  a  jam  like  consistency.  Do  the  ‘gel  test’  now.

Take  one  plate  out  from  the  freezer  and  put  a  spoonful  of  jam  on  it.  Return  it  to  the  freezer.  Wait  for  a  minute  and  take  it  out.  With  your  finger  push  the  edge  of  the  jam,  it  will  wrinkle  if  done.  If  not,  continue   boiling  and  repeat  the  gel  test  until  ready.

Take  the  jars  out  from  the  stockpot  using  tongs.  Empty  the  water  back  in  the  stockpot.  Similarly  take  the  lids  and  screw  out  of  the  stockpot.  Put  a  clean  funnel  inside  the  jar  and  fill  it  with  jam  using  a  ladle.  Leave  about  half  inch  space  from  the  rim.  Fill  all  the  jars.  Cover  the  lid,  sealant  side  down.  Put  the  screw  in  firmly.  Return  all  the  filled  jars  back  inside  the  water  bath  with  the  help  of  a  tong.  Make  sure  the  filled  and  closed  jars  have  about  an  inch  of  water  above  their  lids.  Let  the  water  boil.  After  about  10  minutes   take  these  jars  out  with  the  tongs.  Let  it  sit  on  the  counter  for  24  hours.  As  it  cools  you  will  hear  a  popping  sound.  The  bottles  are  now  vacuum  sealed.

Store  them  in  a  cool  and  dry  place.  It  can  be  enjoyed  for  a  year.

Inside  Scoop;

I  used  a  cherry  pitter  to  take  the  seeds  out.  I  felt  I  could  do  without  it.  I  did  need  my  hand  anyways.

Do  not  throw  away  the  seeds.  It  can  be  made  into  a  small  bean  bag.  Throw  it  in  the  microwave  for  a  couple  of  minutes  and  use  it  as  a  hot  pack.

By  Ratna

4s COMMENTS

4 thoughts on : Sour Cherry Jam

  • September 23, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Ratna, I wish I could sit next to you to hold these gorgeous Evan’s sour cherries in my hands. Thanks so much for this post and for the chance to see these beauties transformed into something delicious! Stay in touch! 😉

    • Ratna
      September 24, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      Thank you Elisabeth. Your photos are my inspiration!

    • Ratna
      September 23, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      Thanks Ev, believe me I felt so accomplished….
      You are very kind.

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