Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cherry Amaretto Jam

I have one of the most fabulous jam recipes EVER!  It's the jam that flies off the shelf the fastest in our house.  This is actually one of the few jams the kids enjoy.  Most times they beg me to buy "normal" jam - Smuckers being the definition of normal.  They eat this stuff, though!

This recipe is basically the same recipe as my peach jam with just a few changes.  

Pit and chop four cups of sweet cherries.   That's about three pounds of cherries.

Put into a large pot with one package of NO SUGAR NEEDED Ball Pectin, 2/3 cup water, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1/4 cup of Amaretto.  We like this stuff:

Any amaretto works. . . cheap is great. . . and it adds such a nice flavor when you cook with it.  Try it in cake!

Bring the fruit, water, lemon juice and amaretto to a rolling boil.  Boil for two minutes.

At this point you need to add your sugar.  I used less than a cup.  The amaretto is very sweet already and I don't like too much sweetness in my jams.  Taste your cherries, though.  If they're not super sweet (like mine were) you will want a bit more sugar.  It all depends on how sweet your sweet cherries are.

Add the sugar, bring back to a boil and boil for three minutes.  If you like a softer set, you can boil for less time but I like a very firm jam.

Fill your hot, clean jars and put the lids on them.  If you've not canned before, check out this article for a good how to and safety tips.  

Process fifteen minutes.  Let set!  I give my jars a good shake after they've cooled down quite a bit to spread the fruit around otherwise it tends to float to the top.  (You aren't supposed to. . . it's just what I do.)

If I do it again:

I make this stuff every year and every year I wish I made more.  Pitting cherries is the pits, though.  My kitchen looks like a crime scene with sprays of cherry juice covering all surfaces and my red, red hands.  We freeze a ton of cherries for the year and what's left is what I make jam with.  I usually pit enough to make two batches before I decide that enough is enough and let the kids eat the rest of the cherries fresh.

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