This is the first year for Preserves I have always taken the delicious cherries I get from Washington and produced some great Jam's. Last year we made a Cherry Mint Shrub . I do always try to get super creative but this year we are going to enjoy the simplicity of the cherry itself.
Cherry Preserves with Brown Sugar and VanillaMake approximately 8 half pint jars
8 pounds of clean pitted cherries - chopped makes about 8/10 cups
1/4 cup fresh squeeze lemon juice
1 cup brown sugar
3 Vanilla Pod's and 1 tablespoon of *Vanilla Powder
I took this recipe and complete changed it up by adding so little sugar as well as making it brown sugar which gives it such a warm flavor. To start have all your tools and water bath ready. I leave the jars in the hot water to have ready to jar up and give the water bath.
Clean and pit and chop your cherries. Yes it is a chore to get all the pits and the nice thing is that any left over pits float in the jam or preserve making it easy to fish the seeds out. Once your cherries are pitted and clean put them into your pot. Add the lemon and stir on low until the cherries are easy to smash a little. This releases the juices/natural pectin and will let the cherries accept the rest of the ingredients.
While the cherries are warming take your vanilla beans and slice them down the middle and scrape the vanilla out of them and add the goo as well as the vanilla pod to the cherries mixture.
* Let's talk Vanilla Powder.I make Vanilla Extract and after many a batch I have left over beans from the liquid. these are not to be wasted they are infused with so much flavor. I simply dry them out and grind them for Jam's and they work fabulous for Baking and Ice Cream.
Your pot should simmer for about a half hour this lets the flavors mingle. Now add the brown sugar to the mixture the mixture should have a nice texture not to thin and not to thick. Let this simmer for 5 to 6 minutes.
Have your jars ready. Turn off the heat under the cherries. Let this sit for 5 minutes. I always let my jam sit for a few minutes once it is ready to go into the jars. Many reasons trust me it helps. Skim off any foam. Take out those vanilla pods you put in earlier !
Take your jars our and fill them to 1/2 " head space. Wipe the rim of the jar clean and cap. Water bath for 10 minutes remove let them cool for at least 12 hours. Remove the twist clean the jar label and store in a cool dry area. Good for 1 year give or take.
Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. Please consult your local Agricultural Extension Service for additional information.