Last week I jetted an hour south of Chicago to Garden Patch Farms to pick a bit of cherries. Well, when I say a bit, I mean about 10 lbs. To be fair, I gave Donovan about 2.3-3 lbs but the rest of it was made into other stuff quite quickly. Firstly, when you have that many cherries, you want to invest in an automatic cherry stoner/pitter. I have this one, which does the job OK, but it is still quite messy and you'll want to wear dark colored clothes.
The first thing I made was cherry jam. It was great to get back to canning. I haven't done any canning for almost two years now. The recipe for the simple cherry jam I made is below, but make sure to follow proper canning prep and methods for sanitizing and the water bath.
Sweet Cherry Jam
4 cups chopped pitted sweet cherries (I mixed sweet & tart)
4 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 package powdered fruit pectin
5 cups granulated sugar
I'm short-handing this recipe because you can find it in Ball's Complete Book of Home Canning (pg 30) and there really isn't anything special about how to process this recipe. As for the adding time line: Start with the cherries, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a deep stainless steel saucepan. Whisk in the pectin until it is dissolved and then bring it to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Then you add the sugar, as you would with normal jam recipes (all at once, etc etc). After it comes to a hard boil, stir for a full minute and then it is ready to be transferred to hot jars, as following normal canning methods.
I have yet to try to jam, but I took a sample from the cooking pot once everything was ladled into the jars and it was quite lovely. As much as I want to rip into the jam already, I really want to hold onto it for winter eating to have a little bit of summer in all that cold and dreariness.