By late spring, the jam supply in our pantry had been decimated. Then, the strawberries were late because of all the rain. It was a panic I tell you. We were a hair’s breadth from store bought. (Nothing wrong with store bought, of course, but I’ve started to pride myself on not buying certain items like jam, salsa, pickles and it pains me when we have to.)*
Anyway, the strawberries finally came in, and I made a good batch of even-better strawberry jam and a pile of strawberry dessert cups, but the trauma remains. I’ve decided to make more types of breakfasty jam than I have in the past, so that we have a real stockpile. Hence, it only made sense to use for jam the remaining cherries that I had bought to make my conserve. Since it was my first go at cherry jam, it’s dead simple.
7 cups sweet cherries, pitted
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
package Light Certo pectin
8 half-pint mason jars
8 bands and lids
Directions for cooking and canning:
Wash your Mason jars in hot soapy water. Rinse well. Since your jam will be boiling in the water bath for 10 minutes, you don't need to pre-sterilize.
Rough chop your pitted cherries roughly in halves or quarters.
Start heating your water bath now. Add a splash of white vinegar for hard water.
Combine your packet of pectin with 1/4 cup of the sugar in a small bowl and mix it together well. Might as well mix the cinnamon in here too.
Put your cherries and sugar/pectin/cinnamon mix in a large pot and bring to boil, stirring frequently.
Add remaining sugar, and bring back to a boil, stirring constantly, for one minute. Remove from heat.
Put the snap lids in hot water to soften. It doesn't have to be boiling.
Continue to stir your cherry mix frequently, skimming foam, for about 5 minutes.
Quickly ladle hot jam into hot jars, using a wide mouth funnel. Leave 0.5 cm headspace.
"Bubble" each jar with a skewer or chopstick to release any trapped air. Wipe each rim with a clean paper towel dipped in vinegar. Place the snap lid down and screw the ring on finger tip tight.
Put the jars into your water bath canner. Make sure there is at least an inch of water above the top of your jars. Put the canner lid on and return to the boil for 10 minutes. Don't start your timer until the water is boiling.
Remove jars from the canner or let them sit in the canner until everything calms down.
Make sure all the jars are sealed before you put them away. Any that aren’t sealed go in the fridge and get et first. Fortunately all of these popped beautifully.
*Nothing about this snobbery is a cost-saving measure. When you factor in the time it takes to make this stuff, I’m waaaaay underwater on comparative costs. But it’s satisfying! Plus I enjoy feeling competent and that I will know how to contribute useful skillz when the zombie apocalypse happens.