Making Cherry Jam
There is a small window for cherry picking in my region. Just after strawberries have peaked it is cherry picking time! People in my area flock to the local orchards to pick different variety of cherries. We picked bing cherries for making jam this year. Look for cherries that are a deep, vibrant burgundy.
Here is another variety of cherries. These are rainier cherries. They are excellent for eating as well as freezing. The rainier cherries look like yellow cherries that have been painted with a few strokes of red. A beautiful fruit! Thanks to my oldest for taking this photo!
Once you get home with your cherries give them a good washing, removing all the stems and leaves.
Then use a cherry pitter to get out the pit.
Some orchards will remove the pits from the cherries FOR you with a commercial pitter. If you are fortunate enough to have this service TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT! Pitting cherries by hand is a slow process. At least it is for me. Let’s just say it is ‘the pits’. Augh!! Cherry humor!
Once your cherries are pitted chop them.
I chop mine into quarters.
Measure out 4 cups of chopped, pitted cherries.
Add the cherries and any juices to a large pot and add:
The peel of 1 lemon (this contains the MOST natural pectin vs. the juice)
6 1/4 cups white sugar
Stirring constantly, bring the cherry mixture to a rolling boil.
Once a full, rolling boil (a boil that will not dissipate with stirred) is reached, boil (and stir) for 1 minute.
After the 1 minute boil, turn off the heat.
Remove the lemon peels and skim the scum off the top.
2 packages of powdered pectin
Turn the heat back on, stir constantly and bring BACK to a rolling boil again for ANOTHER 1 minute.
Once the one minute is up, turn off the heat.
Ladle the cherry jam into hot pint jars leaving 1/2″ head space.
Wipe the rim of the jars.
Add a lid and a ring.
Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes for pints and 15 minutes for quarts.