Thursday, 19 July 2012

Cherry Ripe, Cherry Ripe

Cherry ripe, ripe I cry, full and fair ones, come and buy 
It’s National Cherry Week this week and I was reminded of this song about cherries when I saw some luscious ones in the market this week. They looked perfect for making jam.
My inspiration this time came after visiting Chinon in the Loire Valley in France. We stayed at the wonderful Hotel Diderot which is famous for its vast array of jams which you taste at breakfast time. 
Laurent, who worked there for many years, has a long tradition of jam making and now set up his own company Mille et une Confitures. We swapped stories about jam making and traditional English Puddings including Sherry Trifle which apparently is one of his favourites. Laurent is very creative in jam making and has wonderful combinations of flavours. He's written a recipe book 'Jam in the Cupboard' and I'm very proud to have a copy! 
Grandma’s Jam Pan
Grandma used to take advantage of gluts of fruit to make wonderful jams and jellies with many of the summer fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, plums and blackcurrants. Here’s her Cherry Jam recipe. Cherries are low in pectin like strawberries, so you need to carry out a test with a cold saucer to make sure the jam will set before you put it into jars. 
Cherry Jam
Grandma’s rule was approximately 1 lb (450g) (caster or jam) sugar and 1 tbsp lemon juice for each 1lb (450g) of fruit.

Wash the fruit and place in jam pan or a large heavy saucepan with the lemon juice. Simmer for approximately 30 minutes, or until the cherries are softening. Remove the stones with a slotted spoon, once they have risen to the surface. Add the sugar and continue to heat gently, stirring until it has dissolved. Boil for about 20 minutes and test for setting. Remove the scum from the surface with a wooden spoon. Leave to cool then put into sterilised jars and cover.

Have you tried making any other interesting jam recipes?

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