My recipe below for Bing cherry jam bursts with a full fruity flavor that captures the sweetness of summer cherries. Its pleasing hint of almond, cloves and cinnamon makes it nothing less than spectacular. When placed on the pantry shelf, the jars glint like sunlit stained glass, which sparked thoughts of those shiny dark cherry clusters that teased me from a high limb as a child.
These jewels are perfect for gift giving. Just make sure you save at least one jar of “summer memories” to pile high on hot buttered corn meal muffins.
Bing Cherry Jam
4 cups ripe Bing cherries, pitted and chopped
1 (1.75 ounce) package powdered pectin
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1-fluid ounce bottle almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
4 cups granulated sugar
6 pint jars with 6 lids and 6 bands, sterilized
Except for the 4-cups granulated sugar, place all ingredients in a 6-quart kettle. Bring fruit mixture to a full rolling boil on high-medium heat; immediately add sugar. Return mixture to a full rolling boil and continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula or wooden spoon to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and skim foam from mixture using a large metal spoon.
Pour hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch space. Add lids and screw bands on tightly. Process jam for 10 minutes in a water bath canner or cool overnight and then place in freezer until ready to serve. Yield: 5 to 6 half-pints
Cook’s Note: This recipe is also delicious when tart “pie” cherries are used in place of the sweet Bing cherries. Consider increasing the granulated sugar by at least 1-cup possibly more when using the tart cherries.