It’s officially jam season with the start of my sour cherry harvest. Yum! Sour cherries, while usually too tart to eat straight from the tree make for superior jam and pie filling. Sweetened with a little sugar, their natural tartness shines. In fact, I like sour cherry jam so much I planted a tree just for that purpose. Fortunately, I managed to beat the birds to (most) of the ripe cherries despite skipping the protective netting this year. I tried out my new cherry pitter with good success and decided to experiment with adding some lime to the recipe. It came out especially refreshing, perfect in this hot weather.
5 cups sour cherries (pitted)
zest and juice of 1 lime
4 1/2 tablespoons of low-sugar pectin (I like to use this low/no sugar needed stuff in a jar, but you can also use liquid pectin or the boxed kind. Just follow the instructions on the pectin package and adjust your sugar ratio if necessary)
2 1/2 cups sugar
Put the pitted cherries in a large pot and add the pectin and lime juice & zest. Cook on medium heat until the cherries are soft and surrounded by cherry juice.
While the cherries are cooking, sterilized 6 pint jars. You can sterilize them in boiling water or just stick them in the oven for 10 minutes at 375 degrees F.
Add the sugar to the cherry mixture and bring everything to a rolling boil. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute.
Fill the jam into the pint jars and put on the lids immediately.
For longer-term storage, water bath can the jam for 10 minutes. Otherwise, refrigerate and eat within the next few weeks.
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