You have to try this cherry jam! It's amazingly simple to pull together.
If you prefer cherry fruit butter, cook down the mixture to a thicker (but, loose) consistency leaving out the pectin. Fruit butter can be used in a variety of ways (think cake filling, ice cream additions, oatmeal toppings - you get the idea.)
I like using a small amount of pectin so that I get a gel but, not a super hard gel, I get a firm but, spreadable jam consistency. These cherries from Northwest Cherries are superb in flavor and really make this jam something you want to sit down and eat with a spoon straight from the jar!!
I want to thank Northwest Cherries and The Washington State Fruit Commission for sending me such fabulous fruits as part of my 2019 Canbassadorship!
Cherry Almond Jam
*small batch jam
1 quart chopped pitted sweet cherries
1/2 box SureJell Low Sugar Pectin (pink box)
2-4 Tablespoons almond liqueur *optional
1 teaspoon Rodelle Almond Extract
3 cups sugar, divided
Place all your chopped 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
2 & 1/2 cups of the sugar. Stir and cook down the entire mixture another 20-35 minutes (it should start to thicken as it cooks down)
Add in 1/8 tsp butter, if needed. (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.