Judging by our pantry one could easily be let to believe I am working on a cookbook about jams and jellies. But no, I am not. Summer fruits just taste so wonderful right now, how could you not want to preserve this for cold winter months? The more the merrier.
This is a glimpse into my jam pantry – the photo was taken a couple of weeks ago (with the iPhone, sorry for that), meanwhile half of my production results have been moved to our cellar. I stopped counting after 18 flavors. And started questioning my sanity…
But it took an unplanned trip to the butcher to stumble upon these super tart sour cherries on my way home. Which convinced me on the fly to yet make another batch of jam. Small batch canning – my love! No two hours later the sour cherry vanilla jam was filled into the sterilized jars and I decided right then and there, that this had to be my very favorite jam of the 2012. Have you ever cleaned a jam pot with your fingers?
So – of course – I went back to get more of these amazing cherries. Just to find out that the shop where I had bought them had closed forever without prior notice! Which makes the remaining three jars the most popular in our stocks. I tried to find equally extraordinary fruits, so far to no avail :( Hey there, don’t laugh, this is harsh and only means I will have to treat these three jars like pure gold…
Sooo, what has been your favorite jam concoction this year so far?
Sterilizing the jars: Put clean and empty jars with separate screw lids in boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes. Carefully remove them (I use my BBQ tongs), place them on clean kitchen towels and fill them with the boiling hot jam immediately. Besides you could sterilize clean jars and lids in a hot oven at 110 °C (230 F) for a 5 to 10 minutes before filling them with the jam.
Prepare the jam: Pit the cherries and put into a large pot. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and add them to the pot, as well as the preserving sugar. Bring to a boil, then keep boiling for 5 minutes (check the instructions on your preserving sugar), stirring regularly to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. Since I prefer my jam smooth and silky, I use my handheld blender to achieve an even consistency (but be careful, the jam is hot!). Drizzle some jam on a cold plate, it should set within a couple of seconds, otherwise keep boiling for some more minutes.
Fill sterilized jars with boiling hot jam (use a funnel tube, if you own one), leaving about one centimeter of head-space. Try not to spill any jam on the edges, because it’s really important to work as scrupulously clean as possible! Close jar with the lid (a tea towel helps to protect your hands) and let cool completely. Store labeled jars in a dark and cool place – given a vacuum has developed.
Sour Cherry Vanilla Jam
Recipe source: own creation
Prep time: ~30min.
Ingredients (yields 3-4 small jars):
400 g sour cherries, pitted
1 vanilla bean
400g preserving sugar 1:1