For those of you that don’t know much about Kyustendil, it is considered the “Cherry Capital” of Bulgaria. Back during the communism, they coved the landscape with cherry trees. Even our streets are lined with cherries. You can take a walk and have eaten a fair amount of luscious ripe cherries by the time you arrive at your destination.
A few years ago, my husband purchased a cherry orchard in need of some TLC. Our harvest, which we sell to local buyers fetches a good price because of the care and attention give our trees. It is a shame that I haven’t posted more cherry recipes, but I rarely get that far. We usually just eat
devourer them before I get a chance to make something.
I decided to go to the cherries and pick a whole bunch specifically for baking and canning. Cherry picking is tedious work, but a sweet task that allows you continuous snacking. For the sake of longevity, you must pick them with their stems, but I missed a few.
The ones on the left are stemless, so they need to be eaten quickly.
A few days ago on my Facebook Page, I put a call out to find a cherry pitter and my friend Bill offered me his OXO cherry pitter. I couldn’t wait to get started. I was like a kid at christmas with a new toy. It was so simple even the girls were doing it, although their enthusiasm wained after about 5 cherries.
The Traditional Cherry Jam, which I found on A Good Appetite was taken from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving and I adapted it slightly.
5 1/2 cups (1.3lt) of whole cherries, pitted and quartered
1/3 cup (80g) of lime juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp, ground cloves, I dry roasted whole cloves, then ground them myself
1 oz (30g) ( powdered pectin (apple)
4 1/2 cups of sugar
In a stainless steel or enamel sauce pan add cherries, lime juice, cloves an cinnamon. Stir to combine, then whisk in pectin till completely dissolved.
On high heat, bring to a boil. Add the sugar. To help dissolve the sugar quicker you could heat the sugar the oven for 15 minutes before hand. Boil again for about a minute. Skim all of the foam that rises to the surface. When you think it is done, test the gel with a cold spoon. The drops should be slow and thick.
Add to sterilized jars and process.