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!!!