Anyone can make delicious jams and jellies. Even city dwellers. It’s easy and it’s fun. And when the winter solstice casts its gloomy shadow over your home, what could be a more refreshing reminder of the coming spring than a newly opened jar of Sour Cherry Jam – made by you?
Jams, jellies conserves, and other spreads are usually made at the height of summer fruit season. And today, when science has revealed the secrets of the chemistry of fruits and sugar, and the nature of cooking process itself, you can count on perfect results every time you set out to make one of these delicious spreads.
Jellies are made from fruit juice cooked with sugar. Jams are made of crushed food and sugar cooked until the mixture is thick and homogenous. Marmalades are jam-like preservers, containing two or more fruits plus raisins and nuts. Fruit butter is made of fruit pulp cooked with a comparatively small amount of sugar until thick and butter-like.
Jams are usually made from crushed fruits such as apricots, berries, cherries, peaches, plums, and grapes. The fruit is cooked with sugar to a soft jellylike consistency and contains no free juice or liquid.
The standard proportion of sugar varies from 3/4 to 1 part by weight of sugar to 1 part by weight of the prepared fruit, or 3/4 cup sugar to 1 cup of fruit.
Heat the fruit and sugar slowly, stirring constantly, until all the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to the boiling point and stir and boil rapidly until it is thick. The cooking time varies with the fruit.
You’ll thank me later, when a winter comes-)))
Homemade Sour Cherry Jam
- 7 pounds (about 14 cups) fresh sour cherries, without blemishes, stemmed and pitted
- 7 cups sugar (I like it when it's a little sour, you may add more sugar)
- 4 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 2 lemons
In a large saucepan, place sour cherries with lemon juice and one third of sugar; place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until sugar has dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in half of remaining sugar, and cook, stirring, until it has dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Add remaining sugar, stirring until sugar has dissolved.
Bring the mixture to a full boil, and cook, stirring frequently, 10 minutes. While cooking, skim any foam that floats to the surface. Then reduce the heat and cook more slowly for a longer time, 40 to 45 minutes.
Ladle the jam into prepared jars, seal and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes after the water comes to a boil. Remove the canner lid, turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove the jars to sit undisturbed until they are thoroughly cool. Check the seals before storing. Label with the name of jam and date it was made. Store in a clean, cool, dry place.
MarinaJune 13, 2012 at 4:17 am
What a lovely jam, the color is stunning! And I am sure it tastes great! I miss sour cherry, haven't had it in two years…
YelenaJune 13, 2012 at 4:25 am
Marina, two years? I did not have sour cherry since my childhood -)) I still remember taste of ravioli with sour cherry, my favorite, my grandmother used to make it. I am so lucky, I fount the farm with 30 sour cherry trees. I made cherry jelly as well.
Fatemah AlhusayniJune 13, 2012 at 11:42 pm
Never knew the difference between jam and jellies…thank you for the explanation. Lovely pictures. I think you just inspired my next post 🙂
Sweet LifeJune 14, 2012 at 4:05 pm
Loving your jam and your photos!
RecipeNewZJune 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm
Oh wow, what a gorgeous color! I can only imagine how wonderful this must taste… I love sour cherries and sour cherry jams and sour cherry tarts – I wish they sold these cherries here.
Nami | Just One CookbookJune 15, 2012 at 4:17 am
Beautiful jam pictures! I've never made jams before and that shows you how lazy I am! One day I'll give it a try but for now, I feel like I don't have time for homemade jam. But I really enjoy reading about it and this cherry will be so versatile in cooking/baking!
AnonymousJune 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm
this is such a lovely idea! perfect for cherry season! thank you 🙂
AnonymousJune 21, 2012 at 8:52 pm
such a lovely idea!