I met Scott Weiland once, back when I was 16, in 1997. It was the height of Stone Temple Pilots fame, 92.3 WXRK (K-Rock) was the hottest rock station, and I was a punk rock kid who happened to love some good ol’ “alternative.”
Why am I telling you this? No reason. Only because the entire time I made this sour cherry jam, I sang “Sour Girl.”
She turned away… what are you lookin’ at?
She was a sour girl the day that she met me…
Sour cherries are something I rarely get my hands on. I find them so rarely here, and when I do they’re usually something ridiculous like $6 a pound and they don’t look all that great. But this year, as part of my yearly Canbassador-ship for the Washington State Stone Fruit Commission, they sent me not only sweet cherries, but these gorgeous sour cherries.
This is my fourth year being a Canbassador, and let me tell you- the fruit from Rainier Fruit and Washington State just gets more beautiful every year. Over the years, with this gorgeous fruit, I’ve made vanilla brandied peach jam, nectarine basil preserves, peach & pepper salsa, vanilla bean sliced peaches in syrup, a beautiful (and easy!) peach, bourbon & black walnut crostata, mint julep peaches, which were such a hit around here I’ve already had pre-requests for them if I get a batch of fresh peaches. I also made grilled peaches with ricotta cream & honey, which were also amazing and a great use for those peaches not suitable for canning (too many soft spots, overripe, not ripe enough, etc). Last year there was a triple stone fruit crisp, spiced nectarine jam, nectarine & blackberry jam with purple ruffles basil, canned cherries in a light syrup, cherry preserves with jasmine green tea, mini-cherry pies made with Pimm’s No. 1 Cup and a cherry sauce I served with vanilla panna cotta.
Anyway, usually I make all kinds of fancy jams and jellies, with unique ingredients. But I felt like these sour cherries needed to just be appreciated for what they are. So here we go… a basic, simple, sour cherry jam. No bells and whistles. Just jam.
SOUR CHERRY JAM (via Serious Eats)
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin
- 3 pints sour cherries
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 teaspoons calcium water (included in the Pomona’s packet)
- 1/4 teaspoon unsalted butter
- Combine the sugar and pectin in a medium bowl.
- Pit the cherries and transfer them to the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse the cherries 8 to 10 times, until they are coarsely chopped but not pureed. Measure 4 cups of the cherry puree and transfer to a large, heavy bottomed pot. (Discard any remaining cherries or reserve for another use.) Add the lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cherry pieces have softened and are beginning to break down, about 10 minutes.
- Stir the calcium water and the butter into the pot with the cherries and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the sugar-pectin mixture and return the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for one minute.
- Remove the pot from the heat and skim any foam from the surface of the jam with a cold metal spoon. Ladle the jam into hot sterilized jars and process them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
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