We Made Sweet Cherry Jam!
There’s nothing more wholesome than making your own jam, especially sweet cherry jam!
Although we love our DIYs, furniture painting and building, we also love to cook our own food.
It’s a great time to spend with family or friends and the result is always delicious. You get to smell the sweet aromas of fresh cherries and then as they cook into perfection.
We also love a little healthy competition, so for the past few years, we’ve been entering in Creek County Fair in the Food Preservation division.
In the late summer, cherries are in season and we had a few on hand, so we decided to submit a sweet cherry jam into the contest. This sweet cherry jam is perfect to use on toast, in marinades for ribs and glazes for chicken or warmed up and drizzled over vanilla ice cream. Below is our recipe.
Sweet Cherry Jam
- 5 Cups Sweet Cherries
- 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
- 1 Box Sure-Jell Pectin
- 3 Cups Sugar
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Boil mason and screw bands in boiling water in a stock pot. Let jars air dry before filling.
Stem and pit cherries and cut into eighths.
In a 6-8 quart pot, mix sugar, almond extract, lemon, pectin, and sweet cherries. Bring mixture to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Cook for 10 minutes.
Remove jars from boiling water and let dry. Remove from heat; skim off any foam with metal spoon.
Ladle the jam into the mason jars, leaving 1/4 inch at the top. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly.
Place jars back into boiling water with excess of 1-2 inch of water. Cook for 10 minutes. Let the Sweet Cherry Jam rest for about 5 minutes.
Place the jars 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.)
Benefits of Making Your Own Fruit Jam
There are so many benefits of making your own jam. In the last few years there has been a huge decline in the art of food preservation. People are busy rushing from one place to the next and just don’t make time to slow down and make their own food when there is so many more convenient ways to eat.
Although most see as we move further away from home grown and cooked foods, we see an increase in consequences for unhealthy eating, we still don’t make time in making these home cooked meals available for our families.
For decades, home cooked meals weren’t just a necessity, but a fun event for the whole family and friends. If more people would realize the realize the benefits, we can bring back the declining art of homemade jams and preserves.
Although making preserves may be a declining art it is certainly not a dead one. There are many benefits you can reap by practicing this homey food tradition.
There is a bit of an upfront cost to making jam, but there is no end to the amount of jam you can make once those are covered. In one day, you can make enough preserves to last a year for your family and have leftovers for friends. Looking for cut down on waste, check out what you can do with all the leftover parts of the jam making process.
Post Season Enjoyment
There’s so much fruit you can eat frozen or canned. Making your own preserves is a cost effective way to prolong your enjoyment of seasonal produce.
Healthier and Tastes Better
As produce travels thousands of miles to reach our plates, it loses much of it’s naturally occurring vitamins and flavor. Also, store jam has extra chemicals, so we can store the jam for longer periods. Preserves are an easy way to incorporate more fruit into your diet.
With all those additional nutrients and removal of additives, your jam will taste better than any jam off the shelf. There is something special about eating something that you and your family created together from scratch. Just knowing that you have used the freshest food possible, and that you have all worked together makes your preserves taste better.
Brings People Together
Nothing reminds people of the good ol’ days like making or eating homemade jam. Making jam can be a group process. It’s a good way to get your friends and family off their smart phone and into the kitchen. And if you include a trip to your local Farmer’s Market or farm to pick up ingredients can also make fond memories for the family.
Helps Promote Local Economy
The fresher your produce is the more nutrients it will have and the better it will taste. If you don’t grow your own fruit, go to a local farmer’s market or u-pick farm to get large amounts of fresh produce.
These local farms that depend on local business. Their contributions to local communities often go unnoticed, but it’s important to help support them and buy locally whenever possible.
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