After a couple of days of picking, I finally accumulated three quarts of ripe (or almost ripe) cherries. It takes three quarts of raw product to yield one quart of cherries for processing. I need one quart, chopped , to make a batch of Sour Cherry Jam.
Here are a few pics of the process:
Pitting is, without doubt, the longest and most labor intensive part of the process. It takes a couple of house to pit three quarts. Thank goodness I discovered this handy-dandy pitting tool at Wal-mart a couple of years ago!
There was a time when I used to throw the foam into the sink and rinse it down the drain. Then I discovered how sweet and yummy it is! So, now I save the foam, too. I just put it in one of those handy little single-serving containers from KFC. The congealed foam is awesome on toast!
I know what some of you are thinking … “That’s a pressure cooker!” Actually, it is. I have a weird stove. The burners are designed so that they actually will not boil water in a traditional boiling water canner. I got so frustrated years ago when I couldn’t figure it out. But it’s actually in the stinking manual! So, now I just use my pressure canner. I just let it sub for a canner. It works just fine!
I finished with nine half-pints. It made a perfect “set,” firm, but soooo spreadable. And the taste! It literally tastes like a slice of cherry pie in a jar!
I picked and pitted another three quarts this weekend. So I’ll be firing up another batch on Monday morning. I’m trying to get about fifteen jars total to sell at our local Farmer’s Market.
The recipe is really easy. Just cherries, sugar, and pectin. It’s the most labor-intensive jelly product that I make. But it is so worth it!