Friday, June 18, 2010
I nearly had a full on anxiety attack. Life without tart cherries? Tart cherries are - maybe - my favorite food on earth. And every summer, I can 8 quarts of sour cherry pie filling and 12 pints of tart cherry jam. The one that didn't gel, as I lamented in my post on apple pectin. My cherry pie is anticipated at Thanksgiving's Dead Poultry Society party.
Don't worry. I've located some cherries. Once again, food52 connections came through - there will be a Canorama in Pennsylvania next month, with a world of cherries ready to be canned.
St. Germain. Elderflower liqueur. So French!
If you don't have apple pectin, substitute one package of commercial pectin and follow the directions on the box for finishing the preserves.
Oh, did I mention my beautiful new copper preserving pan? I love it. Yes, it really does make a difference.
Four Cherry Preserves with St. Germain
makes six half-pint jars
1.25# sweet cherries, preferably varied in taste and color
1.25# tart cherries
2.5 c sugar
Juice of one lemon
2-5oz packages of apple pectin
1/2 tsp butter
1 oz St. Germain liqueur
Pit the cherries over a bowl, capturing all the juices.* Add the sugar and lemon juice and allow the mixture to sit for an hour.
In a preserving or other wide and deep pan bring the mixture to a simmer. Remove from the heat and pour the jam into a glass or ceramic bowl, cover with parchment and allow to develop overnight.
Allow the syrup to boil for 5 minutes and skim the foam as completely as possible.
Add in the fruit, bring the preserves back up to a boil, then add 2-5oz packages of apple pectin and the butter. Butter added at this point will break down any remaining foam.
Fill half-pint jars, leaving 1/2" headspace. Seal with lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Remove to a towel on the counter and allow to sit, undisturbed, for 24 hours. The preserves will further set up during the resting period.
*I have never used a cherry pitter, but I've only canned tart cherries, the ones that need only the thumbnail to pluck the pit out. The sweet cherries are a whole different beast. Now, I'm in the market for a cherry pitter. Anyone have a favorite?