I moved into our new house last August and immediately tried to identify everything in the garden, but the tree at the bottom of it was a mystery to virtually everyone until June of this year (2016) when I was suddenly aware of an abundance of CHERRIES that the birds hadn’t snaffled. I was overjoyed at the prospect of making all manner of cherry STUFF.
I spent an afternoon up a ladder harvesting them then I set about the boring job of stoning them.*
Then I decided I would try and make some cherry jam. I consulted the internet (as you do) but couldn’t find a definitive recipe for either a vanilla cherry jam or a spiced cherry jam, so I improvised a bit and had a go. You can’t really go wrong with fruit, sugar and heat but I was thrilled with the results regardless. If you’d like to have a go yourself, my recipe is below:
1kg cherries (stoned*: I used a rigid straw to hull them with. I won’t lie, it took ages, was messy and boring but it needs to be done: no one wants to fish out the stones with their crumpet and jam)
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
Your choice of additional flavourings: I used a vanilla pod in one batch and a generous helping of mixed festive spices for the other (mixed spice, cinnamon, nutmeg etc)
500g of sugar. Ideally jam sugar with pectin but the lemon juice should help with that and I didn’t have any jam sugar so had to do it without.
I chopped up my stoned cherries (naughty cherries!!!). Then I shoved everything in a maslin pan, shoved it on my hob, and hoped for the best with my trusty jam thermometer. I used the freezing saucer method to check whether it had reached setting point then I spooned it into warm, sterilized jam jars and left it to set.
Right, I know this sounds like a bit of a clumsy attempt at jam making but I didn’t have much time (kidzzzzzz) and sometimes, muddling through is how you make jammy magic!
I promise I will be much better prepared for next year’s crop….. Trying to think of variations on the theme even now; IF I can get to the cherries before the bloody birds;).