Between travel and cookbook edits, my life is feeling scattered and rushed at the moment. I’m not posting new content as frequently as I’d like. I actually prepared and photographed numerous recipes before heading off for my recent trip to Europe. I just haven’t posted them. I’ve never shared the mindset of some of my fellow bloggers, who feel it’s important to post on a consistent schedule. Personally, I like to keep things a bit more organic. If I’m feeling it, I go with it. Perhaps it’s not the best method, but it works for me. There are many travel and food stories I look forward to telling soon, when my head is back in the game. For now, this jam is something I prepared several weeks ago, and it was lovely.
Kirsch is my not-so-secret ingredient. I’m sure there are other cherry brandy options that will work as well; this is just what I always have on hand. It’s not overpowering, but it adds a wonderful richness and decadence to the jam. On buttery biscuits and scones, every bite is a sweet escape.
- 5 cups sweet cherries, pitted
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice (approximately 1 large lemon)
- 2-3 tablespoons cherry brandy, such as Kirsch
- Add the cherries and sugar to a large, flat-sided skillet (sautoir) or Dutch oven. Stir and allow the mixture to macerate for at least 15 minutes, to allow some liquid to release from the cherries.
- Turn the heat to medium and allow the liquid to come to a simmer while stirring periodically. Stir in the lemon juice and cherry brandy.
- The skillet will continue to fill with liquid as it is released from the cherries. Continue stirring the jam frequently as it simmers, until most of the liquid has evaporated or thickened, 30 to 45 minutes. Remember that the jam will continue to thicken once it cools.
- Once the jam is thick, remove it from the heat. Can, freeze for 3 months, or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
To test if the jam has properly gelled, you can place a small plate in the freezer before getting started. When you suspect that the jam is ready, place a very small spoonful on the chilled plate and return it to the freezer. After 3-4 minutes, check to see if the jam has gelled. With a bit of practice, you'll be able to tell if the jam is ready just from looking at it.