Sunday, July 01, 2007

Cherry Lime Jam

I bought some dark sweet cherries at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market yesterday - I bought 6 pints, with the thought of trying my hand at cherry jam. When I was grocery shopping, I saw that IBC makes a cherry limeade, and it gave me an idea....why not cherry lime jam? Many moons ago, I made a blueberry lime jam out of the Ball Blue Book that I loved. I consulted my trusty Ball Blue Book - this year's edition is terrific, by the way - and followed the cherry jam recipe on page 33. I added the zest of two limes to it.

I had never pitted cherries by hand before - I wasn't sure where to get a pitter, but suspected that Downtown Home and Garden had one. They had a couple, actually, but I went for value. My pitter cost only $1! I had heard it was a pain to pit cherries, but I have to say it wasn't too bad...only about 1/2 hour total. I had the foresight to put on a black Tshirt and sit on the back deck to do it. Pitting cherries is really messy and they stain everything. After pitting, when I was chopping, I found about 15 pits. Even when cooking the jam, I found a few. I hope my jam is pit free! Can I make it for better and cheaper than I can buy it? I think so. I have never seen cherry lime jam, but it is a flavor combination I really enjoyed upon sampling. The color of the jam was spectacular - a beautiful ruby color. To check out the value proposition:

  • I paid $20 for 6 pints of cherries (I used 2/3 of them for this recipe) - cherries cost me about $13.40

  • liquid pectin - I had never used liquid pectin. It's more expensive than powdered pectin, and they are not interchangeable. 2 envelopes cost me $2.99

  • 2 limes were $.99

  • 6 cups of sugar is about 3 lbs. I paid $2.59 for 5 total sugar cost was about $1.50.

I made 9 half pints of jam, so my cost per jar was about $2.10 per half pint. Not bad, for minimal effort!

Here's the recipe:

Cherry Lime Jam

1 qt. finely chopped pitted dark sweet cherries
6 1/4 cups sugar
2 T. bottled lemon juice

2 pouches liquid pectin

zest from 2 limes

Yield: About 8 half-pint jars

Procedure: Sterilize canning jars and prepare two-piece canning lids according to manufacturer's directions. To prepare fruit. Sort and wash fully ripe cherries; remove any stems and pits. Chop fine.

To make jam. Measure prepared cherries into a kettle. Add sugar, lemon juice and lime zest and stir well. Place on high heat and, stirring constantly, bring quickly to a full boil with bubbles over the entire surface. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the pectin. Skim off foam.

Fill hot jam immediately into hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a boiling water canner.


Anonymous said...

Sounds good! How long should the jars be processed?

Mom said...

10 minutes....

hima said...

This sounds yummy -- I may make this next weekend!

Where did you pick up your lovely labels?

Mom said...

Thanks! I made them with a stamp myself...

Katelyn Likes This said...

I just made this and my hands looked worse stained than yours!

Anonymous said...

How's this for really funny: I am in Kodiak, Alaska, looking for lime jelly recipes but originally from Michigan. I spent many of my young years racing to Ann Arbor for orchestra every weekend. So funny!!!

Zaklog the Great said...

For everyone's safety, I feel compelled to mention that the jars should be processed for 10 minutes at sea level. If you are significantly above sea level, it will be longer, as the boiling point of water is lower. You should be able to find charts detailing this out there on the internets.