Sour Cherry & Orange Jam

a bowl full of cherries… put to good use


Romania has some of the best sour cherries I have ever tasted and they make exquisite jam.  I nuance mine with orange and cinnamon but not overly so – you want those black beauties to shine through. I make this recipe with both grape juice concentrate or the classic version with cane sugar and both work brilliantly well. I use little sour green apples to make a puree and to up the pectin content – if you have crab apples even better.

Gadgets & Gizmos

A good quality heavy bottomed pan – if you have a Le Creuset casserole for example – use it for jam. A good ladle, a metal jam funnel helps.  Washed jars and lids in bicarbonate of soda solution. A sugar thermometer if you have one. Small saucers placed in the freezer.

Do read the Jam making rules if you have time

Ingredients  for  8-10 small pots

1kg of sour cherries after stoning so buy 1.5kg to be absolutely sure

200g of apple puree (made by boiling up whole small unripe green apples because the pectin is in the pips and skin and passing through a mouli)

This gives 1.2kg of fruit total

The zest of 1 orange

50ml orange juice

1 tsp cinnamon

1kg sugar or 1 litre unsweetened grape juice concentrate

How To

Have everything prepared including your fruit.  This is the key. Jars washed and warmed to 100C in the oven. A tray and a ladle, lids sterilised. Tea towels scrupulously clean.  Now you can begin.

Place all ingredients except the orange zest and cinnamon in your pan and warm slowly until the sugar has dissolved

Now switch up to full and bring to a rolling boil until you reach 104C or if you do not have a sugar thermometer you will wait some 20-30 minutes and notice smaller bubbles.  Start testing the jam by placing a teaspoon on the cold plates.  When it does not move/ noticeable wrinkles when you push your finger through it then it has set.

Remove from the heat. Now gently add the orange zest and cinnamon.

Pour into the hot jars and seal the lid immediately. Invert to sterilise the airspace.

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