Last summer, we were overwhelmed with the harvest (as usual!), and so rather than canning our sour cherries at that time, we just put the pitted and washed cherries into the freezer, with thoughts of making sour cherry jam sometime during the winter months. Well, that time has come. Today I pulled out one of the bags of frozen sour cherries and made jam.
In addition to the two bags of sour cherries still in our big freezer (above), there is another big bag in our kitchen freezer. Plus the bag that I just made into jam! So many cherries....
Usually I make jam using Pomona's Pectin since it requires a lot less sugar, but today I discovered I didn't have enough of it in the cupboard. But I did have some Ball pectin that says it's "Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin". I hadn't tried this before and don't even remember buying it, but I must have because there it was in the cupboard. It hadn't even been opened. Most excellent, I thought, and proceeded to make us some jam.
Surprisingly, the gallon-sized bag of cherries had just enough in it to make a quadruple batch of jam according to the instructions inside the Ball flap.
Sour Cherry Jam with Ball Low-Sugar Pectin
5 1/3 cups of frozen sour cherries (rinsed with warm water and drained well)
1 1/3 cups of water
1/4 cup lemon juice
6 Tablespoons Ball Low-Sugar Pectin
2 cups sugar
If canning the jam, prepare all your equipment and put the jars and lids on to boil so they are hot and sterilized. Then, place the rinsed and drained cherries, water and lemon juice into a large pot set to medium-high heat and mix well. Then gradually add the pectin, stirring well. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring constantly, and boil hard for a minute. Then add the sugar, continuing to stir well, and bring back to a rolling boil, stirring constantly, boiling for a total of 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
If canning, process for 10 minutes according to the Water Bath Canning method (adjusting for altitude).
Quantity: 8 half-pint jars
Note: Use slightly less pectin for a softer jam. As shown here, the jam comes out fairly firm.