Sauces & Seasonings Recipes
If making cherry jam sounds like a great big project, please allow us to introduce you to refrigerator jam. It comes together in three easy steps — no canning rig, no boiling water, no pectin needed! And you can make it in small batches, so there’s no need to buy (and, in this case, pit) bushels of fruit.
In this recipe, we combine sweet black cherries with lemon juice and sugar to help their natural pectins along. There’s also a pinch of salt in there for balance. Cherries are especially low in pectin, so it takes about 45 minutes at a soft boil for the cherries to thicken up. The jam is so worth the wait! It’s super rich and full of sweet-tart cherry flavor.
Cherry jam is lovely spooned on warm toast that’s been slathered in salty butter. Even better? Put some briny feta cheese on that toast too! We also like to stir the jam through our yogurt in the morning. It’s terrific in between the layers of a fancy cake. And it’s happy hour magic: bake it into a brie or just put a little pot of it on your cheese and charcuterie board.
P.S. If (despite its incredible usefulness) you have an extra jar, homemade cherry jam makes a terrific hostess gift. Or you could just drop one on the BFF’s porch — that’s what friends are for.
Yield: 1 quart
In a large saucepan, stir together the cherries, lemon juice, sugar, and salt. Let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes to macerate.
Fit the saucepan with a candy thermometer and bring the fruit to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook at a soft boil, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 218º, about 45 minutes. Immediately remove the pot from the heat.
Carefully transfer the jam to the Mason jars and let cool for 15 minutes. Seal the lid, let cool to room temperature, then transfer the jam to the refrigerator. The jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.