Monday 3 August 2015

Morello Cherry Jam

This year the Morello Cherry tree has been amazing.  It has been absolutely laden with fruit and we've been waiting patiently for the cherries to ripen so that we could make our favourite jam.

We've only actually made this Morello Cherry jam the once, a few years ago.  There just hasn't been enough fruit to make it worth the effort since then, but this year there has been plenty.

Not only have we had enough for a good batch of jam, but we also have a few tubs in the freezer for pies and crumbles and enough, teamed up with the first of the blueberries, for a very nice sweet and sour clafoutie.

As cherries are very low in pectin, additional pectin needs to be added to achieve a good set.  Adding commercial pectin is an easy way to do this.  Jams made in the this way need only a short boiling time and little or no water.

Makes sufficient jam to fill 7 small jars

1.2kg Morello cherries (weight is after pitting)
45ml lemon juice
1kg sugar (there is no need to use jam sugar)
250ml liquid pectin

The original recipe also called for 150 ml of water. However, after pitting the cherries we had 150ml of cherry juice so didn't include any water at all.

  • Place a small plate in the freezer to help test when your jam has reached setting point.
  • Put the cherries (including the juice) and lemon juice in a large pan.  Include the water if using. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring until the cherries are tender.
  • Add the sugar to the fruit mixture and stir over a low heat until all the sugar has dissolved completely.  
  • Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 1 minute.
  • Add the liquid pectin to the pan and stir it into the jam.  Return the mixture to the boil and cook for a further few minutes, until the jam is ready to set.
  • You can test whether your jam has reached setting point by placing a drop onto the plate that you put into the freezer earlier.  If at setting point the mixture will ripple when pushed with your finger.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and, using a slotted spoon, skim off any froth from the surface.
  • Set the jam aside and then leave it to stand for 5 minutes.
  • Stir the jam briefly to distribute the fruit evenly, then pot into sterilised jars and seal.

To add a final professional touch we've managed to find a 'jam labeliser' website, where you can print your own personal labels. Though we didn't believe it would work, we've stuck the jam labels on with milk ....... yes, I really said milk.  I don't understand the science but it works a treat. 

Give it a go!

So having made it, bottled it and labelled it, there really is only one thing left to do .......

We are really pleased with how this jam has turned out. The fruit is spread right through the jar and the taste of the cherries really comes through.

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