More Cherry Goodness – Cherry Cabernet Jam
As promised, here’s another recipe capturing those wonderful just-now in-season Dark Cherries.
I’ve done several recipes over the years as a Canbassador for Northwest Cherries. This one I think will be especially useful for basting meats – such as a pot roast or tenderloing with oven-roasted veggies. If you try this, I suggest you put the roast with the basted jam in a covered pot such as a cast iron dutch oven and roast for about half the required time. This will keep the moisture contained as well as allowing the jam to do it’s work! Then remove the cover, add veggies and continue to bake until all are tender and browned.
This jam is also good as a side condiment to add to burgers or sauteed chops. I especially like the robust flavor of the Cabernet with the sweetness of the cherries and I think it’ll will make a nice addition to my pantry for heartier winter meals.
Note: normally I make fruit butters by cooking down the fruit to a spreadable thickness. I can avoid using sugars and end up with a more intense fruit flavor. However, cherries have very little pectin on their own. Adding sugar helps it to thicken, of course, and also helps to hold the brilliant color of the cherries. I also used low/no sugar pectin which is available where regular pectin is sold. That means that whatever sugar I do use doesn’t have to be in the larger amounts that regular pectin requires.
Cherry Cabernet Jam
Makes 6 – 8 ounce jars
8 cups pitted dark cherries
2 cups sugar (I used turbinado sugar, but any granulated sugar will work)
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon Wine
1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice
6 tablespoons low/no sugar pectin
Prepare cherries by cutting in half. Place in deep bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of sugar (reserving the rest). Refrigerate for 6-8 hours or overnight.
When cherries have macerated, strain liquid from cherries into a bowl. Place cherry juice in a heavy saucepan (use one large enough to hold the liquid and all the cherries) and cook over low to medium heat until liquid is reduced and thickened. In the meantime, fill a canner with the jars (without lids) and top with water. Bring to a boil and hold on simmer until ready to use.
When the cherry liquid is thick, add back the cherries, remaining sugar, wine and lemon juice. Continue cooking and over medium heat, stirring until cherries are soft. Remove from heat. At this point puree the cherries by using an immersion blender right in the saucepan or by processing with a food processor. Then return to saucepan and continue cooking and stirring on medium heat. When boiling rapidly, stir in pectin making sure there are no lumps and continuing cooking until thickened.
Remove jars from canner. Fill each jar leaving 1/2 head space, wipe rims and cap. Process for 15 minutes after water has returned to a boil. Turn off heat, let jars rest for 5 minutes. Remove from canner and let cool throughly – 8-12 hours or overnight.
Test lids by removing bands and placing fingers around lid edge. If the lid does not come off until gentle pulling, then the jar is sealed. Place any unsealed jars in refrigerator and use within weeks. Label and date, and store in a cool dark place.