Monday, 7 August 2017

stocking up the larder








I made cherry jam. This is a first, cherries are a bit of a luxury here in Scotland. I love cherries a lot, so much so that they rarely make it home if I pick some up at the shop. The other day I struck gold though, I noticed that the fruit man on Byres Road had large boxes of cherries in his van. They were English cherries and cost £9 for a box of two kilograms. This is well under supermarket prices. I guess the fruit man has no overheads, working out of the back of a van as he is. Sam and I ate a few, nobody else was keen. I am struggling to come to terms with this lukewarm appreciation of cherries. As the fruit man's produce is not suitable for storage (it is not packed under gas or stored in the cold), I needed to decide quickly what to do with the excess.

Jam is always a good option, we all love it. The jam stores are slowly getting up to normal levels but there was a bit of a shortage earlier this year due to building works and a drop in production prior to the beginning of the building works.




I stoned the cherries by halting them and popping the stone out. The cherries were really big, which made the process easy. I remember my dad stoning cherries in the garden, using some king of contraption invented for this very purpose. He used to do this in the garden to keep the mess to a minimum. Look at the funny bib my dad is wearing to stone cherries (by the bucketful it appears). I look to be the cherry quality control officer.

I ended up with 1.2 kg of stoned cherries. It appears that Sam and I ate rather a lot.

Cherries are low in pectin and jam doesn't set well. The cherry jam of my childhood was so runny, it would drip of the bread. I don't think my mum was the queen of jams, the consistencies of home made jams was varied and unpredictable. Still, we had homemade jam (lots of it) and it tasted good, even if you had to lick it of the plate.

I squeezed the juice of two lemons onto the cherries and then stewed them in their own juice until they were really soft but not disintegrated. Then I added 1 kg of jam sugar, which has pectin added. It dissolved very quickly. I boiled the jam for 30 min, checking for set now and then. Having my childhood cherry jam in mind and forgetting the extra pectin, I cooked it too long. It is set rather well and would probably make a good bouncy ball. It tastes good at least, very good.

We now have five jars of cherry jam ready for the winter months when the flavour and fragrance of fresh fruit becomes a distant memory. I also made some apricot jam with bargain apricots from Aldi. I left them in a bowl with a banana to ripen them a little, they were definitely not ready to eat.

That's me done with jam making for the year. Do you make your own jam?

Thanks for stopping by and saying hello. It is lovely to see you here. Have a lovely week. x

15 comments:

  1. How can they not like cherries? What bliss to have a family who are lukewarm about cherries - you can eat the lot :) I'm very envious of your cherry jam. My jam making is a bit hit and miss so I quite often make freezer jam, which is very runny but tastes deliciously fresh.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I will be right over from Edinburgh to help you eat your cherries. I adore cherries! On a recent trip to France they were my gourmet treat - who needs patisserie?

    Ah, jam. The raspberries at our house on Speyside are at their peak. During a 2 week visit I made 62 jars of jam, and still the raspberries ripen. After my mother died when I was 32 I had to assume the role of jam-maker. At first I felt very grumpy about it - now I love it.
    Also love your Dad's bib!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would LOVE to make cherry jam sometime. It's my husband's favorite kind. He grew up on a small farm with fruit orchards and they made jam when the cherries were plentiful. I have been buying cherries this summer over here, the prices have been a bit better than most years I think. I have a fresh bag in the fridge right now, actually, maybe I'll have some this afternoon when I have my cup of tea.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love cherries, could probably eat my weight in them, but they're so expensive and Mac doesn't really care for them. I don't eat jam so that wouldn't work either. Guess I'll just have to enjoy them vicariously through other people's blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My daughter and I LOVE cherries, and the men in the house love the flavor of cherries. I just heard on their podcast that the editor of Bon Appetit magazine has never tried a cherry. I was stunned.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oooo Cherry Jam! It'll be just lovely to enjoy during the duller months - lucky you. I've made no jam this year (so far....) but am living off the last few pots of dad's apple jelly from last autumn. It's being eaten slightly ceremonially as he died earlier in the year and it's kind of precious. There were so many brambly apples last season, we've a few bottles of home made cider left too. This summer it's all about peas, broad beans and spuds from the garden - a new thing to have them growing within reach of the kitchen and not at the allotment. Enjoy your lovely cherry jam!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've only ever made greengage jam before. The first batch was too well set, the second batch was so much better. I can't unfortunately eat any stoned fruit including avocado anymore, it's the sorbitol they naturally contain. Just doesn't agree with me. I did however used to love all the delicious fruits before I knew all about FODMAPS.
    Maybe next year I'll make some raspberry jam. My MIL made some once, it was divine! Enjoy your jam, Cathy x

    ReplyDelete
  8. I LOVE cherries, so I completely understand where you're coming from. Cherry jam would be a luxury here as well. I do have some morello ones in the freezer, ready stoned, waiting to be made into something. I quite like them stewed and served over Greek yoghurt - it makes the yoghurt taste like cream. I've got a little stoner which is excellent, it works on the cherry plums too. I'm keeping my eye on them while dog walking and once they're ripe I'll be down there picking some. Jam sugar is a nightmare for making the jam set too firmly I find. Getting the right amount of pectin is tricky. No doubt your jam is absolutely delicious though. Apricot is another favourite of mine. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have never made cherry jam, mostly because they are expensive and they never make it anywhere beyond my mouth... I love them! I do make lots of jam though. There has already been apricot jam this year and I'm eyeing up the ripening damsons.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your jam sounds delicious! I am sure you will enjoy it!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. My mouth is watering at the thought of that cherry jam. Yum. Imagine that on a bit of vanilla ice cream. Mmmmmm. Smallp xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. How nice to return to blog reading after 2 weeks away and find this post about cherries, which we do enjoy eating as well. We hadn't bought any for quite awhile, but the supermarket in VA had a sale so we bought a couple of pounds. They were delicious when served with yogurt and just for eating, Sadly, we did not use them for anything else other than our pure momentary indulgence. At least, you will have the jam to enjoy far longer.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ohhhh.. I adore black cherries! They are my favorite. What a good woman you are to make jam out of the surplus! It looks simply delicious. Good job! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. It looks delicious. Must admit I've never tried to make cherry jam, possibly because of all the stoning. I made a small batch of the fruity sweet stuff the other day with a punnet of strawberries. It yielded one and a half jars. ( Maybe it was more like two jars and I already ate half a jar. You decide.)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hey Christina,
    I love the pictures of you and your Dad. I really enjoy making jam, although I haven't done so for a while. Cherry jam looks lovely, although I fear the cherries wouldn't have made it home at all!
    Leanne xx

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx