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7.7.12

CHERRY JAM


I never cared for it you know. No matter how much I cooked the cherries, there were these limp skins that would not soften up like strawberries or apricots do. A few years ago, the kids gave me a food processor for Christmas, which then took me 2 years to figure out how to use, but that’s a different story. I now puree the cherries in my food processor and simply LOVE cherry jam. I love the color, the taste, but most of all I love its smooth texture. One more thing; I went back to using pectin. So as the fruits ripen in the backyard, I will be reposting my jam recipes. They are too runny without pectin and plus they don’t last as long. Follow the instructions and make sure the pectin hasn’t expired. I prefer Certo Liquid Pectin. Generally, jams should last 3-4 years without loosing their lovely colour. Here is my new cherry jam.

4 cups prepared fruit [3 lb. cherries]
7 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 pouches CERTO Liquid Pectin

• Bring boiling-water canner, half full with water, to simmer.
• Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water.
• Drain jars well before filling.
• Stem and pit cherries.
• Puree in a food processor.
• Place 3-3/4 cups pureed cherries in a large Dutch pot.
• Stir sugar into prepared fruit.
• Add the lemon juice.
• Bring mixture to full rolling boil on high heat.
• Boil for 1 minute.
• Remove from heat and stir in the pectin.
• Stir and skim off foam with metal spoon for five minutes.
• Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat.
• Let stand in hot water until ready to use.
• Ladle jam immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops.
• Use a jam funnel; it will save you from mucky jars and endless wiping up.
• Wipe jar rims and threads.
• Cover with two-piece lids and screw bands tightly.
• Process the jars in by the canner method or the Oven method or by the Dry Pack Method.
• Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely.
• After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger.
• If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.

Canner Method:
• Place jars on elevated rack in canner.
• Add boiling water, if necessary. Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches.
• Cover; bring water to gentle boil and process for 10 minutes.

Oven Method:
• Or the jars in a 212F oven for 2 hours.
• Remove from oven and let jars cool.
• Put away all the jars that has sealed.
• If one fails to seal, keep it in the fridge and start using it right of way.

Dry Pack Method:
• Place the jars in 210F oven for 40 minutes or until jars are very hot to the touch.
• Prepare a dry pack: line a basket or a box with tea towels.
• Remove from the hot bottles from the oven and transfer them to the prepared dry pack.
• Encase the dry pack into an old quilt or several blankets and leave it to cool.
• By evening the jars will still be warm; they will also be completely sealed.

In terms of food safety, oven processing fruit and fruit jams is no more risky than the hot water bath method. The reason for that is simple. No open cattle will reach above the boiling point of 100°C or 212°F. Keep in mind though that low acid or non-acid foods should never be processed by any other than the pressure canner method. However, oven processed fruits and fruit jams are just as safe as those processed in the hot water bath.

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. This is to my old on-line friends and visitors: policing the comment section for spam and answering questions has become a chore. Good wishes to you all, happy cooking and keep on feeding your people with good food.

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