Cherry Jam

Processing: Boiling Water Canner 10 minutes
Storage: 12 months+
Yield: 6 cups per batch
     
Delicious cherry jam ready to smother on freshly baked sourdough, layered between cakes, or stirred into yoghurt... cherries go well with cheese so this jam would be lovely as part of a cheese platter too! We enjoy it as a glaze for duck.
  
Ingredients:

1.3kg (3lbs) cherries (fresh or frozen)
3/4 cup water

3 tablespoons powdered pectin
5 cups sugar
  
Prepare jars.
Cover jars with water and bring to a boil, boiling for 10 minutes. Once the time is up, turn the heat off and leave jars in the hot water until ready to fill.
   
Make jam.
Wash fresh cherries, discarding stones and chopping roughly (or thaw frozen cherries, then chop roughly, including any juice). Simmer cherries with water for 5 minutes or until soft. Mash for a rustic jam, puree for a smooth consistency. Whisk pectin into cherry mixture. Bring to as high a boil as possible. Then add sugar and bring to a rolling boil, whisking every few minutes as sugar dissolves. Mixture should foam and be boiling as hard as possible. Boil hard for 1 minute then turn the heat off. Cool for a minute then skim foam from the surface (if any).
       
Prepare lids.
Place lids into a bowl of boiled water. Remove the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal.
 
Ladle hot jam into hot jars.
Immediately spoon the hot jam into the hot jars, leaving a 1/4 inch (0.5cm) headspace. Remove bubbles, check headspace is correct, then wipe rims and seal.
 
Process jars in a boiling water canner.
Process in a boiling water bath canner for the time listed below (start timer once water returns to a full boil). When time is up, turn heat off and rest jars in water for 5 minutes before placing onto a towel-covered bench overnight to cool.

  
  Processing Time for   Cherry Jam   in a Boiling Water Canner
 Style of Pack  Jar Size
 Altitude 0 - 6,000ft  Altitude
 ≥6,000ft
 Hot   Quart  10 minutes  15 minutes
     
Next day: check for seals.
Check jars have sealed before labelling and storing in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 12 months. Jar lids should not flex up or down when pressed.
    
TIPS:
  • You can use sweet or sour cherries in this recipe.
  • Low-sugar, no-pectin jam: chop 1kg cherries (washed, stones removed) and mix in a non-metal bowl with 300g raw sugar (or sugar of your choice) and 1 finely sliced lemon (seeds can be tied into some muslin for boiling in the jam). Macerate overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, boil mixture until set, discarding seed bag before bottling (follow processing method above).
  • Low-sugar, pectin jam: use a no/low-sugar pectin instead to cut the sugar in our recipe back to 1/2 cup (or to taste) then follow processing method above. Remember reducing the sugar does effect the jam consistency so trial with a small batch of jam first.
  • Cherry Honey Jam - use low/no-sugar pectin and replace sugar with honey to taste. Pectin will be needed to achieve a jam consistency.
  
FLAVOUR IDEAS:
  • Adults' only jam: stir a shot of amaretto, brandy or grand marnier through the jam, after cooking (before bottling);
  • Add a vanilla bean;
  • Add 1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (or infuse with quill and discard before bottling);
  • Add 1/3 cup shredded dried coconut;
  • Add the zest of a lemon;
  • Add a tablespoon (or, to taste) of almond extract;
  • Try cherry jam with mint and vanilla.

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