Living on a farm, I admit, I am blessed to have so many different fruits and vegetables at my hand. But that’s also because I create a little bit of too much work for myself and keep planting all these different things that I want to use. But, to your benefit, I am able to bring you awesome recipes from all these things. Today’s is a delicious cherry jam. My cherry tree is just bounding with so many sour cherries and they are amazing in pies and cobblers and this year I thought, well it’s time to make jam with these. I love to make jam and this one is a brandied cherry jam. Yes, I add brandy into it. You can leave it out but I think you wanna add it in. To start, you of course need cherries. And I know they look like a lot of work ’cause you have to pit them and clean them, but there is nothing like a delicious sour cherry and it really makes the best jam. I’m also mixing in a few bing or sweet cherries. This just adds a little bit different flavor and together with the sour cherries, they just really meld together and create an amazing jam. To pit them, I’ll admit I have a weird
method. It’s kinda old school. Something my grandma taught me. I use a large old hairpin – no, it was not in anyone’s hair, it’s clean – it’s just used for cherry pitting and it helps me just get right in there and pop out the pit. My mom uses her fingernail. If that works for you, go ahead. I don’t have fingernails really to use like that, so for me this works. If you want a cherry pitter, there are some great options out there and I will put links below to the ones I love. Once your cherries are pitted and cleaned, you can just throw them into a large pot. To make jams, it is best to use at least an 8-quart pot because sometimes with all the sugar, the mixture can really bubble and spurt and it can burn you, so the larger the pot, the better. After your cherries, add in your sugar, some lemon zest, and lemon juice. The lemon zest and juice really helps bring out the natural pectin that is in the sugar and I’m not going to use any packaged powdered or liquid pectin, so that really helps thicken the jam. Put that on the stove over fairly high heat. Not quite high, but a little over medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. This is really how you make jam. It is that easy. Slowly be mixing and stirring the mixture and mash it with what is really just a potato masher. This is gonna help break down the cherries as they’re cooking and they’ll soften anyway, but the masher really just makes them soften a little bit more. Sometimes the cherries don’t break down easily ’cause they have really strong cell walls on the skin, so it kinda just helps it along to have an immersion blender and just stick that in there and break them up a little bit. Personally, I like to have some of the pieces of fruit still in there so you know what type of jam it is, but the blender just helps break it down slightly. So if you need it to be a little bit more smooth, just stick in your immersion blender and blend it up to the consistency you like. To check your jam, always have a small plate in your freezer so it’s really cold and then just put a little bit of jam on the plate when you wanna check it and then put it back in the freezer and let it cool off. After a minute or two, check it. If you can run your finger through it and it slowly just falls on the plate when you turn it sideways, you know the jam is at the point that you want it. You can kinda customize this so if you like your jam softer or thicker, you can cook it a little bit longer or a little bit less and make exactly how you want. Now this is completely optional, but I like to add in some brandy and some kirsch to this. It’s completely optional like I said but it really does deepen the flavor and it is so delicious. Kirsch is a cherry-flavored liqueur and it really is amazing. I love to add in a little bit of that at the end of cooking and then a little bit of brandy. If you do it at the end of the cooking, all the flavor doesn’t cook out and you really get some of that great flavor. Don’t worry, the alcohol does cook off so you don’t have to worry about this being overly boozy jam, but you might like that. But just keep cooking it a little bit longer after you add it and the flavor will be there but the alcohol will be gone and you will be amazed at the awesome flavor. At this point, you could just put the jam in your fridge and it would stay about two to four weeks and you could just eat it like that. I of course like to can it so I can put it on my shelf for up to a year and use it as I need it or give it away as gifts. To do this, I’m just doing a simple water bath method. If you’re not used to canning, make sure to check out my canning 101 video. Just click the annotation right over here and you can watch that video and make sure that you have all the items you need to get ready to can this. Have your water bath ready to go and your sterilized jars pour it into your sterilized jars, make sure to clean them off, put the lids on and the rings, and then water bath them for about 10 minutes. Take them out and you are gonna have amazing cherry jam for the next year. Honestly, I make so many different jams throughout the summer and love to give it away as gifts. It’s great as a hostess gift, a housewarming gift, really anything and it’s always in my fridge open and I use it for breakfast and on cakes and I know you’re gonna have so many uses for this. I can’t wait for you guys to try this recipe. If you like it, make sure to click like below and make sure to subscribe to The Gray Boxwood channel by clicking subscribe so you can be up-to-date on all of our videos. The recipe is in the description box below and if you want a print out of this recipe, make sure to go to thegrayboxwood.com and you can find printable versions of all these awesome recipes. Thanks guys!