Monday, 30 June 2014

From the Cherry Tree to the Jar - The Story of Our Cherry Jam

Cherry and Cinnamon Conserve

Cherries would have to be my favourite fruit. The fact that their season is really short just makes them so much more delicious when they arrive.  You cannot beat biting into a huge juicy red cherry straight from the tree - they are just so scrummy.  What better way to try and capture a little bit of summer for a rainy (or snowy) day than to make jam with them.
You may think that to look at the ingredients for cherry jam, or any jam for that matter, that it would be a simple process, with so few ingredients - it must be eeeeeazzzzy!  To an extent it is, but there is a lot more to it than at first meets the eye....
For breakfast in the chalet this coming winter, we picked a whole heap of sun ripened cherries to turn into jam and serve up to our guests at breakfast time. 

Here is the pictoral story/recipe/method for our cherry and cinnamon jam.

 1.  Daily check on the tree to see if they cherries are ripe and juicy.   Be patient, wait until they are just right
 2.  Select the richest red cherries
 3.  It is very important to have a happy fruit picker - like this one.  The best picking method, is one for you, one for the basket which really helps to motivate. It may be a little slower but it is good to work with incentives
 4.  Pit the cherries, I am definitely going to invest in cherry pitter. This is the small knife and very messy hand method.  It took about an hour to do this large bowl weighing about 2kgs
 5.  Finally they are all pitted!
 6.  Put into a preserving pan with equal quantities of jam sugar and a couple of cinnamon sticks and the zest and juice of a couple of lemons.  Bring gently to the boil and cook until its ready; you can test if jam is ready by putting a couple of saucers in the freezer.  If you pop some of the cooking jam onto the saucer and it wrinkles when you push your finger through it - it is done.  Or if you've got a special thermometer; the magic numbers for jam are 104 °C or 220°F

 7.  Pour the hot jam into clean, sterilised jars and screw the lids on
 8.  Label them :-)
9.  Finally...... enjoy

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