Cherries, Cherries and More Cherries
If you are wondering why we have not posted, it is because last Monday I headed down to my friends at Peach Hill Farm Market to pick up some cherry culls.
I got 6 cases of cherries that were too small or a little unripe or have a blemish. For the rest of Monday and Tuesday after we got back from the market, we washed, sorted, bagged, froze and steamed about 40 kilos of fruit.
What are culls? Culls are the fruit that they can’t sell (or ship). They are most often too small, unripe or have blemishes. The size and the ripeness don’t matter when you are making juice and the ones with blemishes can be used when you are cutting up fruit for jam. After sorting and washing the first case we had a problem with the Vacuum sealer we just bought for freezing fruit, the element that seals the bags has a blank spot! We had to turn most into juice and freeze the juice instead of freezing the fruit. Finally we went back to ziplock bags! One of the drawbacks of living in the middle of nowhere is I have to plan a 2 hour (one way) trip to the “big” city to take back the Vacuum sealer! Hopefully we can do that this week.
I made 3 dozen jars of cherry and red wine jelly from some of the juice and 48 jars of Tequila and Red Jalapeno Jelly as we headed towards the Friday and Saturday Markets. Canning was actually quite comfortable as the weather was cool and rainy – good for me but bad for cherry farmers. On Saturday, after the Osoyoos Market, we headed for Peach Hill to drop off the cases (and some Red Onion Jelly and Cherry and Red Wine Jelly) and got another 2 cases (about 25 pounds) of cherries picked that day that had splits from all the rain.
For the last 2 days we have been slicing and sorting and freezing cherries. Today I canned. We made a small batch of pitted whole cherries in a light brandy syrup, got a batch of cherry rum going, made Ba-Da-Bing Cherry Jam, more Cherry and Red Wine Jelly – the Red wine is Merlot and the jelly is absolutely incredible – Cherry and Hot Pepper Jelly and put even more cherries in the freezer! We have some washed and sorted cherries in cold storage and are going to make them into Cherry Wine (that we can turn into jelly next summer). As we sold out of Beer Jelly, we also made 12 jars (2 canner loads) of that.
Cherries are the first crop of the season and we filled the freezer. We now need to buy another freezer!
Here is our award winning cherry jam recipe:
Bing Cherry Jam
- 4 cups pitted and chopped fresh, ripe dark (Bing) cherries (this is about 3 pounds)
- ½ cup strained fresh lemon juice
- 5 cups sugar
- 1 pouch liquid pectin
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Put 8-9 250mL or 1/2 Pint jars in your canning pot and bring to a boil. Sterilize for 10 minutes.
- In your jam pot, combine the cherries, lemon juice and sugar.
- Over medium-low heat, stir and heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.
- After 1 minute at a full rolling boil, add the pouch of pectin.
- Return the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Skim off any foam. Stir in the almond extract.
- To prevent the jam from separating in the jars, allow the jam to cool 5 minutes before filling the jars. Gently stir the jam every minute or so to distribute the fruit. Ladle the hot jam into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch head space. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean, damp paper towel. Cover with hot lids and apply screw rings.
- Process half-pint jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, pint jars for 15 minutes.
- Cool on a table covered with a towel.
Note: If the fruit all rises to the top of the jar, gently turn the jars upside down several times while the jam cools.
Posted on June 24, 2013, in Market, Recipes, Sweet and tagged Beary Good Stuff, Beer Jelly, Bing Cherries, Canning, Cherries, Cherry Jam, Farm Market, Jam, Wine Jelly. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.