Summer Cherry Jam

Ready to wing their way to the UK!

Yes, it´s back to jam again today.  You may, or may not, recall that a nearby village is famed for its cherries. We had a very, very long and wet winter which meant that a lot of the blossom this year was lost from the cherry trees. Such a shame for those whose livelihoods depends greatly on selling their crop, a shame for the cherry fiesta which is coming up next weekend, and a shame for all the customers who were hoping for a bumper crop.

We were very lucky in that a friend gave us a kilo the other day.  We tried a few and they were delicious, but I wanted to make my first cherries into jam, to capture a special moment at the start of summer.  Cherries are quite hard to get to set (at least, these were!), so in this jam I used a sachet of pectin powder, the setting agent which occurs naturally in some fruit like apples and citrus fruits.  If you can´t get hold of it (or the liquid pectin) don´t worry, a little grated apple or the pith of a lemon plus a few minutes extra boiling should do the trick.

After pitting the cherries (that´s a messy job!) I ended up with 600g of fruit to which I added 400g of sugar and the juice of 2 lemons.  Feel free to vary these quantities a little if you like your jam less tart and more sugary.

As with most recipes for jam, start it off at a low temperature until the sugar has dissolved. This is when I added the pectin powder and then turned the heat up and got it bubbling

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Keep it bubbling away for about 10 minutes.  Don´t get distracted or walk away!  If you have a jam thermometer, do use it, it saves having to reboil the jam later if it doesn´t set.  Otherwise you can drop a spoonful of jam onto a saucer which you have previously placed in the freezer.  When the jam cools on the saucer you push it slightly – if it wrinkles, it´s at setting point.  If not, boil a little longer then repeat.

Leave the jam to cool down a little for 5-10 minutes so that when you pour it into still warm, sterilized jars (I run mine through the dishwasher to do this), the fruit will not float to the top.

Seal the jars while they are still hot and this will keep for at least a year.  It´s delicious on bread but also fantastic on ice cream, especially if you warm it a little first.

Sorry, I only took a photo of it in the jars, and they are already earmarked to wing their way back to the UK with my friends!  Luckily Big Man came home with several cartons of cherries this morning, so tomorrow I´ll be busy stoning cherries again for the next batch.


39 thoughts on “Summer Cherry Jam

  1. I made cherry jam the other day too 🙂
    and they gave me a hard time setting too
    making cherry mango crumble today and I have some left that I haven’t planned what to do with yet..sny suggestions?

    1. Having just stoned another couple of kilos and with plenty still left (couldn´t face stoning them) and am now thinking of making cherry clafoutis. Have never made if before so will look up a recipe….let me know what you decide to do!

  2. OMG!!! I love cherry jam! I guess we had that same problem in Italy: we also had a hard winter, and no wonder why cherries are so expensive this year! I have to say that you are a myth: pitting all those cherries!!!!!!!!You really must have a lot of patience!!

    1. They are expensive, but at least we know why! Have just pitted another 2 kilos this morning, and although I word gloves, somehow my fingers are stained with cherry juice. I keep telling myself it will be worth it when I am enjoying cherry jam in the winter!

    1. Am feeling a bit frustrated as I just spoke to my mother who told me that I should have kept all the stones, put them into a muslin bag and boiled them up with the jam to help it set….I never knew! You must also have some great festivals Down South too I´m guessing?!

  3. Looks very delicious!! I was planning to write a post this week on a particularly laden cherry tree in a bit of ‘no man’s land’ in the village. Can I link to this page to include your recipe please?

    1. And you see, I´m now jealous of you. You never see raspberries in Andalucia…must be the heat. Oh for a bowl of raspberries with a big dollop of clotted cream…..:)

  4. thank you for the advice! I am going to try jam making with some lemon pith as I cannot get pectin where I live 🙂

    1. Stop press from my mum – she advises saving the cherry stones, putting them in a muslin bag and boiling them up with the jam (removing them at the end though 😉 ) and these will help with the setting process. Mum´s know best!

  5. Wonderful recipe.
    On a different note; it amazes me how many things (that I take for granted) are not available to those of you who are in Europe. It really makes me think and wish I could mail you all a bunch of pectin and other stuff to you.

    1. It´s true – some things we just can´t get. When I was in London it was generally no problem but living somewhere pretty remote in a part of Spain which is still immensely traditional means that lots of things just haven´t “reached” here yet. Mind you, in the 6 years I´ve been here I´ve already begun to see some changes 🙂

  6. Love cherries too! And raspberries and more than anything blueberries. That is what I miss here. But I love cherries too. Wish I had time to make jam…….

      1. In Malaga which I love because it has beach and the sea and the heat. But it doesn’t have berries, and I loooove berries they are my favourite food in the whole world, raspberries blueberries, well you can get blackberries (moras) here but raspberries are better. I used to live in Barcelona and there you could get blueberries at the street market where they were sold like gemstones (at gemstone prices),

      2. We´re in the north of Malaga province, but only about 40 mins from the sea. No berries though – guess it´s too hot for those delicate little “gems”!

  7. Our tart cherry season is just ending; I bought the last from a farmer this past weekend. I’ve frozen quite a few, hoping to make pies and muffins in the months ahead. Had I seen this post, I’d have bought more and made some jam. Did I misinterpret? Will these jars of jam keep for one year without canning? If so, I had no idea and thank you for that info … John

    1. You can freeze jam once you´ve made it with the sugar etc, but the stuff in jars does have to be “canned” I´m afraid – just a matter though of running the jars through the dishwasher then filling the hot jars with the jam when it´s still hot, screwing the lids on tightly and then leaving to cool down. Not too bad!

  8. We were both up to our head in Cherry Jam/Preserves’ at the same time. I love the little jars you used! Liked you post, I will be adding my post about my preserves’ in the next day or too! ….RaeDi

  9. As for the canning – another tip for those who might be concerned about hygiene: after filling the jars, pour a little liquor (I’ve used vodka, but any strong one would do) on the top of the preserves, light it on fire, then quickly put the lid on the jar before the flame goes out. The flame will use up any oxygen inside the jar, retarding bacterial/mold growth.

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