Monday, 21 December 2009

Cherry jam

I have never made cherry jam before,  but with cherries that are "seconds" at  the market on Saturday,  it is worth a try.  I bought a few for us to eat,   but I also bought a box of these "second rate"  cherries.... with the thought of making jam.

And so of course I looked up some recipes on  the internet.   There were quite a variety of methods,  but I looked at a website that has "old time" Australian recipes, thinking that that might be the most useful.  The first thing I read in the site was in a list of "helping information" but the first item is  a measurement... 1 gill... which is not equal to half of any normal cup that I am aware of.  When I went to school, 1gill was 5 ounces, and a cup is 8 ounces... making a gill considerably more than half a cup when it comes to cooking and recipes.  Oh well.   I perservered,  and found a recipe for cherry jam that is very simple. I have decided to go with the simple one and see how it goes.
I have been taking the seeds out of the cherries all day, my fingers are a wierd brown colour.   This was quite noticeable at my book group this afternoon, where we concluded with a dainty afternoon tea as an addition to the Christmas festivities.  I have added "pound for pound" enough sugar to prevent spoilage,  and about a cup of water to dissolve the sugar.  I warmed it all gently on the stove and it is ready to cook.

We had a visitor during dinner so I haven't actually cooked the jam yet.  It is late enough that I've decided to leave it until tomorrow morning.  I'll light the fire again,  boil the jam and evaporate some liquid, and if it doesn't set,  I'll add some pectin.   Cherries are quite hard and "meaty" and the amount of weight lost in seeds is quite small.  They will not be harmed by cooking them a bit longer and making sure that they are soggy.   I have seen one recipe that suggested putting them through a "mouli" mill and then adding pectin... this could be interesting.
I also have five jars of cherries that are "de-stalked' but still have their seeds all ready for syrup and preserving.  Tomorrow should be a busy day....  more of that later.