The season for fresh cherries at the market is absurdly brief. When they appear, I buy a few extra pounds for a big batch of Spiced Cherry Jam. The kids like to help, which I welcome – learning canning and preserving methods is a great home school lesson! Cheerful bright red jars of this jam taste like a burst of summer throughout the winter months. Enjoy!
Ingredients (Makes 10 half-pint jars)
10 cups fresh pitted cherries
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon powdered pectin (such as Ball Classic pectin)
6 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons candied orange peel
Step 1) Add cherries, lemon juice, and powdered pectin to a large, nonreactive pot over medium-high heat. Stir well to dissolve pectin.
Step 2) As cherries warm and soften, either pulse them with an immersion blender or mash with a potato masher until only a few cherries are left whole.
Step 3) Turn heat to high and stir constantly until cherry mixture is boiling vigorously.
Step 4) Add sugar. Continue stirring over high heat until mixture is once again boiling vigorously (this will take a few minutes). Boil for one minute, then remove from heat.
Step 5) Stir in cinnamon, ground cloves, and candied orange peel.