At the moment the fruit and veg man at my local tube station has a box of 2kg of cherries for £7. Obviously I couldn’t resist. But then came the problem of what to do with them all. I thought about dehydrating them but I couldn’t face the idea of how many trays I’d need to rotate.
So I decided to use 1kg to make jam! I set up my pitting station in front of Orange is the New Black and got to work. Whilst you are pitting the cherries, reserve the kernels from about two dozen – you will need the pectin in them later. I ended up with 3 large jars and one small jar.
Adapted from Taste.com.au
- 1kg of cherries, pitted
- Two dozen cherry kernels wrapped in a muslin bundle
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 vanilla bean pods, split
- 1kg sugar
- Preheat your oven to 200f. Wash your jars in hot soapy water then place them side down inside the oven. Heat in the oven for 10 minutes then turn off the heat and leave them inside until needed.
- In a large heavy bottomed saucepan add your cherries, using a fork or potato masher mash the fruit to break it up. Turn the heat to a medium low and add the lemon juice and vanilla.
- Cook for about 3 minutes then add the kernel bundle, turning the heat up to medium. Cook the fruit for 15 minutes until soft. Remove and discard the kernels and the vanilla.
- Add the sugar slowly, stirring all the time. Cook the jam for about 10 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved then bring it to a boil.
- Boil the jam for up to 25 minutes, checking to see whether it is set every 5 minutes. Place a saucer in the fridge. Spoon a little jam onto the saucer, return it to the fridge for a few minutes. Using your finger, drag it across the jam, if the jam puckers and wrinkles it is ready.
- Remove the jam from the heat. Using a metal spoon carefully scrape the white scum from the surface. This will stop your jam from becoming cloudy.
- Remove your jars from the oven and carefully ladle in the hot jam. Immediately seal with the lids and leave to cool completely. Store in a dark, cool place.