How To Serve Cherry Jam Recipe With Liquid Pectin Easy

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There’s nothing quite like a taste of summer captured in a jar. Homemade cherry jam is a delightful way to preserve the season’s bounty and enjoy it year-round. This recipe uses liquid pectin, making it a breeze to whip up even for beginner canners.

This guide dives deep into everything cherry jam, from prepping the fruit to understanding the role of pectin. We’ll also explore some variations and troubleshooting tips to ensure your jam turns out perfectly every time. So, grab your cherries, put on your apron, and let’s get jamming!

Homemade cherry jam
Homemade cherry jam

Understanding Pectin and Its Role in Jam Making

Pectin is a naturally occurring gelling agent found in fruits. It helps jams and jellies thicken and set as they cool. Commercially available pectin comes in liquid and powdered forms. This recipe utilizes liquid pectin, which is known for its ease of use and consistent results.

Here’s a breakdown of the different types of pectin and their ideal uses:

Liquid Pectin: Perfect for beginners and those who prefer a no-fuss approach. It requires a shorter cooking time and readily mixes with fruit juices. Ideal for jams, jellies, and sauces.

  • Powdered Pectin: Requires careful measuring and precise timing for activation. Often used for low-sugar jams and jellies.

  • Now that you understand the magic of pectin, let’s gather the ingredients for our homemade cherry jam!

    Ingredients:

    4 cups fresh, pitted sweet cherries (about 3 pounds)

  • 6 cups granulated sugar (can be adjusted based on cherry sweetness)
  • 1 pouch (6 fluid ounces) liquid pectin
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon unsalted butter (optional)

  • Equipment:

    Large saucepan with a heavy bottom

  • Canning jars with lids and bands (sterilized)
  • Ladle
  • Canning funnel
  • Bubble remover (optional)
  • Kitchen towels
  • Jelly thermometer (optional)

  • Cherry Selection Tips:

    Choose ripe, firm cherries with vibrant color. Avoid soft or bruised fruit.

  • Sweet cherry varieties like Rainier, Bing, or Lambert work best for jam making.
  • Sour cherries can be used, but the final product will be tarter. You may need to adjust the sugar quantity based on your preference.

  • Step-by-Step Instructions:

    1. Prep the Cherries: Wash and dry the cherries thoroughly. Pit them using a cherry pitter or a chopstick. Aim for a consistent size for even cooking.

    2. Combine Cherries and Sugar: In your large saucepan, combine the pitted cherries and sugar. Stir gently to coat the cherries evenly. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes, allowing the sugar to draw out the juices from the fruit.

    3. Heating and Reaching a Rolling Boil: Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the cherry-sugar mixture to a rolling boil. This is a vigorous boil with large, continuous bubbles that cannot be stirred down.

    Tips for Reaching a Rolling Boil:

    Stir occasionally to prevent scorching, especially at the bottom of the pan.

  • Crushing a few cherries with a potato masher can help release juices and expedite the boiling process.

  • 4. Adding Pectin and Lemon Juice: Once a rolling boil is achieved, remove the pan from heat momentarily. Whisk in the liquid pectin and lemon juice. Return the pan to heat and bring back to a rolling boil for one minute.

    5. Reaching Setting Point: After the one-minute boil, you can determine if the jam has reached setting point by using one of these methods:

    Thermometer Method: Use a jelly thermometer to measure the temperature of the jam. It should reach 220°F (104°C) for a good set.

  • Spoon Test: Dip a cold metal spoon into the hot jam. Let some drip back into the pan. If the jam drips slowly and forms a sheet that “sheets” off the spoon, it’s likely reached setting point.

  • Important Note: Don’t overcook the jam once you’ve added the pectin, as it can affect the final texture and flavor.

    6. Skimming Foam (Optional): If foam accumulates on the surface, skim it off with a spoon. This step is optional and purely for aesthetics.

    7. Filling the Jars: While the jam is hot, carefully ladle it into your sterilized canning jars, leaving about 1/4 inch headspace at the top.