In a karma exchange I acquired 30 pounds of the most beautiful sour cherries known to man from Forest Green Man Lavender Farm in Naramata. I started some white lavender from cuttings for the farm in the spring and traded for these coveted puckery babies. The farm takes names every year for these Balatons, which originally hailed from Hungary, and they sell out. The catch, which really wasn’t a catch at all, was I had to pick them myself.
Then it got messy. Hot tip…wear something red.
I made four pie fillings and froze them and then went on a jam-a-thon with a recipe that couldn’t be any easier. After pitting all the cherries they went into two large pots. I added the zest and juice of two fresh lemons to each pot and cooked them until wilted and soft, which takes about 20 minutes.
At this point, measure how many cups of cherries you have, including the juice and add them back into the pots with 3/4 cup of sugar per each cup of cherries. I added a dash of Kirsch to each pot as well because more cherry flavour is cherrier and one package of pectin crystals. The jam may have jammed without the pectin but I didn’t want to take any chances.
While the cherries are cooking, stick a small plate in the freezer to use to test the doneness of the jam. Remain on alert and stir often. Once the jam appears a bit thick and looks like it is beginning to gel put a small amount of the jam on the frozen plate and return to the freezer. After a few minutes, when you nudge it if it wrinkles, it’s done. If not, cook it some more and re-test…
Load your jam into sterilized jars. You can either decided to store your jam in the fridge and use it up within several months or boil it in a canner for 10 minutes, which I did as it’s pretty hard to use 24 jars in a few months. No half measures here.
July 12, 2016 at 4:47 am
Reading your article about the cherries brought back wonderful memories of a visit to Hungary in the late 1960s to visit my godmother and other family members who lived in a small village in the southern part of the country. They made amazing apricot jam and sour cherry jam (from fruit ripening on their own trees). Another favourite was plum butter, velvety smooth and almost pitch black! These delicious cherries were even used to make a totally scrumptious cherry ice cream which we tasted on a more recent trip. Thank you for this lovely article and for evoking these memories of dear relatives no longer with us.
July 12, 2016 at 5:19 am
Thank you!!!! Plum butter sounds amazing!
July 12, 2016 at 3:52 pm
July 12, 2016 at 6:29 pm
Those cherries made the best jam I’ve ever made! You should totally get hooked up and buy some!
July 17, 2016 at 8:26 pm
Looking forward to your posts from the Channel
July 17, 2016 at 11:34 pm
We need a coffee date after next year’s across the lake and have a proper catch up!
July 19, 2016 at 1:51 pm
Absolutely. I dropped the ball on that one. Just read your next blog. I agree. You guys are going to be great. Love the suits.