Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Toast Topper #18: Triple Cherry Jam

I love being able to dive into my freezer in the dead of Winter and come up with pieces of carefully preserved Summer goodness. From bags of fruit from local farms to blanched veggies from my own backyard, produce that was too beautiful and well-priced to pass up, but too much for us to eat all at once finds a home in the ice chest and waits to be discovered again when it's most needed.

Triple Cherry JamWe've had a bit of a vegetable dearth in the grocery stores these days, and I'm not ashamed to admit we've been using our fair share of the IQF goods at home. Good quality ones are easier than ever to find now, and we're lucky that one of our local farms thought ahead during the growing season and set aside a portion of the harvest for their freezers, meaning we can get local, high quality fare for a quality price too. The last time I swung in, I picked up not only some lovely dark green broccoli and a bell pepper stir fry mix, but a big bag of tart cherries too. At home, I dug out my bag of groundcherries from last year's garden and a few cans of sweet black beauties from my pantry to make this wonderful jam. Since I opted to use my Pomona's pectin again, I got away with using very little sugar - but punched up the flavour with a glug of wine and a healthy dose of lemon zest. It was a glorious melding of seasons that worked on everything from slices of baguette to pork chops!

What's your favourite frozen produce?

Triple Cherry Jam
Makes about 6 1/4 cups, 50 (2-tbsp) servings
2 (14 oz) cans bing cherries in light syrup, drained (save 2/3 cup syrup)
340 g pitted fresh or frozen tart cherries
1 cup pineapple ground cherries (or regular ground cherries)
1/4 cup red wine
2 tsp lemon juice
zest of 1 Meyer lemon (or 1/2 regular lemon)
2 tsp Pomona's calcium water (see below)
1/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
2 tsp Pomona's pectin
  1. Combine drained cherries, fresh or frozen cherries, ground cherries, red wine, lemon juice, lemon zest and calcium water in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a simmer, mashing fruit with a potato masher or fork to break it into your desired consistency.
  3. Combine reserved syrup, sugar, salt and pectin in a measuring cup or bowl.
  4. Bring fruit to a boil and add the pectin mixture.
  5. Boil, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  6. Ladle into jars and either can in a waterbath or store in the fridge up to 1 month.
Calcium Water:
Pomona's comes with two packets - one of pectin and one of monocalcium phosphate. The calcium helps activate the pectin under low-sugar circumstances. To prepare calcium water mix the contents of the packet with 1/2 cup water in a jar and shake well. You only need 2-3 tsp per batch so store the rest in the jar in the fridge - it keeps a long time.

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 20.8
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 4.8 mg
Total Carbs: 5.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.3 g
Protein: 0.2 g