I want to thank The Washington State Fruit Commission for sending me such fabulous fruits as part of my 2018 Canbassadorship! I hope you enjoy this jam as much as I enjoyed creating it. The cherries from Northwest Cherries were exceptional this year! Truly a treat to create with... Enjoy! ~Diane
Diane's Cherry Berry Jam
2 Cups Whole Cherries, cleaned & pitted
1-1/2 Cups Sliced Strawberries
1-1/4 Cups Blueberries; I used a pint of my canned blueberries
3/4 Cup Honey
1-1/2 Cups Sugar; divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 large lemon; the zest and juice
1/8 teaspoon butter; to prevent foaming
1/2 box SureJell Low Sugar Pectin (pink box)
Place all your sliced fruit in a large bowl, add 1/4 cup of sugar, toss to coat, cover and set in fridge overnight. This will macerate the fruit (this releases the juices and deepens the fruit flavor in finished product)
Take Macerated fruit, and all the juices in bowl and scrape into a large jam pot. Cook down 15 minutes on medium (keep an eye on it and stir to prevent scorching) Add in 1 cup of sugar, the honey, vanilla bean paste, lemon juice with zest. Stir and cook down the entire mixture another 20-35 minutes (it should start to thicken as it cooks down)
Add in butter (helps lessen foaming), then use an immersion blender (or mash with a potato masher) and break up large chunks of fruit until you get the consistency of jam you prefer **do not liquefy the mixture. Take your pectin and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and stir together in a small bowl. Raise the heat on your jam mixture to High. Add in the sugar/pectin mix and stir/whisk constantly until you are at a boil that cannot be stirred away - boil hard for one minute. I look for a 'craggy skin' to start to form around the edges of the pot/mixture...indicating gel stage has been released. Remove pot from heat, do freezer plate test to ensure gel stage has been reached, and prepare to jar jam for processing.
Waterbath or Steam Can at 1/4" head-space for 10 minutes, adjusting for your altitude. Remove to a draft free area and let sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Wash & Label Jars. Store in Pantry up to One Year. Once opened, this lower sugar jam can be refrigerated up to 3 weeks.
Makes approximately 5 half pints
Thanks for bearing with me guys! Most readers know that we moved! Today its officially been one month in our new house. We moved 6 hours West *over some beautiful mountain ranges to the Grand Valley of Colorado. It's a small "banana belt" where life is a little easier, slower, calmer, quieter and friendlier then what Colorado's Front Range is becoming!! I will miss friends, family and neighbors from our old home but, this change is exactly what we both were dreaming of back when we got married (coming up on 22 years ago now.) I prefer waking up to the stillness of this area, and an occasional horse whinny. The area is stunningly beautiful with a view of the "Mini Alps" (San Juan Mountains) out our front door. Well, enough about me. Let's talk homemade cherry & vanilla ice cream! I remember the days of taking turns cranking the handle of our ice cream maker, the rewards of all that hard work - yummy ice cream! Fast forward to today and the advent of electric ice cream makers which make homemade ice cream making easy, fast and more flavorful! A few years ago I gifted family members Cuisinart Ice Cream (and yogurt) Makers and reacquainted myself with ours as I found it in our basement when we were packing to move (brand new, in the box LOL) This machine is superb - I have a super simple recipe that doesn't need to be cooked down first, and using fresh fruits with quality extracts makes the perfect fast, homemade ice cream. This year I am excited to be Canbassador once again for Northwest Cherries which made the endeaver even more flavorful! The cherries this year were beyond magnificent. We, of course, ate them fresh, I pitted and vac sealed some, pickled some, jammed some and mashed portions and froze so that I could make ice cream or smoothies with them. That is truly what is great about these beautiful cherries, they withstand being frozen or canned, and don't lose their flavor! While you can use the berry of your choice - give cherries a try! you won't regret it!
Make sure to check out all my cherry recipes; try making this ice cream using my Brandied Cherries or stir in some of my Cherry/Peach Jam. The ideas and combinations are endless!!!!!!
~Enjoy! Diane (p.s. some shots around our new house below)
My Cherry Collection of Recipes:
Homemade Cherry Ice Cream
*using electric ice cream maker