The weekend was a continuation of cherry jubilation. With the help of my assistant daughters I made cherry jam and an old family favorite, Cherry Pudding.
I had never made jam or jelly before. I know my parents had made some jellies when I was young, but I don’t recall being a part of it. The Hubs made apricot and cherry jam last summer. The apricot was amazing, but the cherry did not set, or jell. I have used it as a glaze or marinade for pork all year!
The girls pitted the remainder of the cherries we had picked last weekend. I measured out the 4 cups of cherries called for in the jam recipe and was astonished at how many cherries were left! In fact, after making the jam and the pudding and sharing a cup of cherries with my mother to make her own pudding, I still have quite a large amount of cherries.
Since I had never made jam before I used a recipe from the Sure-Jell pectin website. I’m glad I did. It turned out great! The only adaptation I made to the recipe was I decreased the amount of sugar it called for by 1 cup. It is plenty sweet.
Fresh Cherry Jam
- 4 cups fresh pitted cherries
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 box Sure-Jell Fruit pectin
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract, optional
Bring boiling-water canner, half full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour water not quite but just prior to boiling over flat lids in a saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain jars well before filling. Chop washed, stemmed, and pitted cherries. (I used my food processor and chopped some fine and some a little more coarse) Measure exactly 4 cups of the prepared cherries into 6- or 8-qt. saucepot. Stir in lemon juice.Stir pectin into fruit mixture in saucepot. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar and extract. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat; skim off any foam with metal spoon.Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 min. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. (If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)
The other success of my first jam making experience is that it was also my first ‘canning’ experience without assistance of a more experienced person. I’m thrilled to announce that all four pints of my jam sealed.
This recipe is one that my mother has been making as long as I can remember. I didn’t check the copyright date in the little book that it came from, but I did snap a pic of the cover. It’s called “The Way to a Man’s Heart” it and it was put out by the Gas Service Company. Oh!
As I was putting this together with my assistants I had to explain that this was not the type of pudding they were used to. I reminded them about the pudding we had tried on our trip to Ireland, which was nothing like the puddings they were used to, and then quickly explained that this was not Black or White pudding and there was NO blood in this pudding. Except cherry blood. After I pulled the finished product out of the oven it was all I could do to keep their little fingers out of it. I didn’t want them to burn their fingers in the molten hot cherry goodness! We let it cool and then served with some vanilla bean ice cream. I think they were glad they waited! I had to keep their fingers out of it the rest of the day.
- 2 cups liquid (cherry juice and water)
- 1 cup canned cherries (I used fresh)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons butter
Combine ingredients and cook 10-15 minutes. (I should have cooked a little longer than 15, since my cherries were fresh.)
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups sifted flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a casserole dish. Cream butter and add sugar gradually and mix until creamy. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together 3 times and add alternately with milk. Pour Pudding Foundation into greased pan and pour cherry syrup mixture over the top. Bake 30-35 minutes, until top is golden brown and set.
As I said, this recipe was as big of a hit with my girls as it has always been with me. Daughter Number Two even liked it, and she is not a fan of cherries.
Stay tuned to see what other great things we make with the remainder of our fresh cherries during this summer’s Cherry Jubilation!