As we went for cherry picking I got fresh cherries at home and I was eagerly waiting to make some recipes with it. First thing came into my mind was homemade fresh fruit jam, tried one and it came out really well. You may think making jam is difficult, but this recipe is actually simple and really yummy.
Yields upto 1 cup of jam
- 2 cups – Fresh cherry (chopped finely)
- 1 1/2 cups – Sugar
- 1/2 tbsp – Lemon juice
- Wash cherries thoroughly in running water, remove stems and seeds, chop them finely ( chop as small as possible).
- Put 1 or 2 small silver plates into your freezer, we will be using these plates later to test whether the jam is ready.
- Take a wide vessel, add chopped cherries and lemon juice. Heat the cherries on medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes until they are soft and well cooked. Using potato masher, mash cherries nicely and switch off the stove.
- Meanwhile heat water in a vessel, bring it to boil and sterilize jars thoroughly. Dry them completely and set it aside.
- Now you have to work on how much sugar you may have to add. Pour cherry pulp out into a measuring cup. You should add sugar that is equal to measurement of cherry pulp. I had 1 1/2 cups of pulp, so I have added 1 1/2 cup of sugar.
- Bring back cherry pulp into the same vessels, add required sugar and stir well until the sugar melts. Increase the heat and bring the jam to the boil. It will bubble and then it will start to thicken up.
- When you think it may be ready, place a teaspoon of the liquid on one of your chilled plates and put it back in the fridge for a minute or two. It should get thick and be like jam consistency. If it is still watery you can put it back on stove and cook for few more mins. Take the jam from the heat just in case it is ready - you don't want to overcook it.
- The jam is ready when your chilled sample forms a skin on top that wrinkles when you push it with your finger. Cool them completely and fill your jam into sterilised jars. Enjoy cherry with your favourite bread.
- Pectin is the magical ingredient that helps jam to set. Since I do not want any artificial ingredients in my jam, I have added lemon juice in place of pectin.
- Lemons acts as a preservative and helps jam to have longer self life. Also i do not want to make a whole bunch of jam, so i have prepared a small batch of jam and kept it in refrigerator and used it for 2 to 3 weeks.
- Do not over cook jam. Consistency of jam after it is cooked was little watery, but once cooled it became thick as our store bought jam.
- You may use food chopper to chop cherries to make it very fine one.