No-Recipe Cherry Jam - David Lebovitz
- Using the handy cherry pitter, pit the cherries.
Make sure to remove all the pits.
- gently cooked Cherry till the skins had softened, which may take about 20 minutes.
Don’t add sugar till the skins are soft.
Add the sugar, heat it till sugar dissolved completely (stir), brought to a roiling boil about 7 minutes, don’t stir now as it stops the jam coming up to temperature quickly which is what you want.
Setting point for jam is 105C (220F) so a good way to test for setting point is to have a sugar thermometer clipped to the side of your saucepan, with the end dipped in the boiling jam mixture.
Test for a set by putting a teaspoon of jam on a cold saucer, turn off the boiling jam while you wait to see if it has set enough.
It should wrinkle slightly when you nudge the test spoonful once cooled.
If it hasn’t then turn the heat back up again and bring it up to temperature once more.
- the most commonly advised proportions are : 60 per cent sugar to 100 per cent fruit weight.
- add a tablespoon of lemon juice for each kilo of fruit.
The whole process:
- Cook the cherries about 20 minutes
- Add the zest and juice of one or two fresh lemons
- Measure out how many cherries you have (including the juice.)
Use 3/4 of the amount of sugar.
- Stir the sugar and the cherries in the pot and cook over moderate-to-high heat.
the best jam is cooked quickly.
- Once it’s done and gelled, add a bit of kirsch if you have it
- Ladle the warm jam into clean jars and cover.
Cool at room temperature, then put in the refrigerator where it will keep for several months.
You can also check for setting point using the "wrinkle" test.
Before cooking the jam put 3 or 4 small heatproof plates in the freezer.
Once your jam has boiled for several minutes, take the pan off the heat and carefully spoon a little jam onto one of the cold plates.
Let it stand for a minute then push the blob of jam with your finger, if the surface of the jam wrinkles then it has set, if it is still quite liquid then put the pan back on the heat and boil the jam for another 3 to 5 minutes before testing again.
Pectin can also be destroyed by extended boiling so make jam in a large saucepan (the fruit and sugar mixture should not come more than one third up the side of the pan) so that the mixture boil rapidly, and start testing for setting point fairly early.
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