Cherry Strawberry Jam

Well it is Canbasador time of the year. Each year the Washington Fruit Board and NW Cherry Growers they send me fresh cherries from their wonderful farm's. I am then tasked with making a few new recipes for them and you.  In the past I have gotten pretty creative as to not do the usual. This year I realized that I never used that fruit we are so blessed with fresh off the Oxnard Strawberry Farmlands.

So with that little history let us get started on our Cherry Adventure. A few notes we do not use pectin I go by temperature to bring my jams up to set. But if you choose to use pectin just use the box directions.

Ingredients - Yields app 8 half pint jars

8 cup cleaned pitted cherries
2 cups cleaned chopped strawberries
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups granulated sugar

Pit and clean your cherries. You can chop them by hand or food processor. My way pf making jam is really letting the cherries do their thing. They will soften and then I will take my potato smasher and crush them. I love chunky jams. If you get a nice piece of fruit Yippee!

While the cherries cook on a medium heat clean and chop your strawberries. Before you start that add your lemon juice the cherries may need some liquid. The cherries will begin to break down and with that you will get juice.

Now add you strawberries and half of your sugar. Smash and stir is the name of the game. My process of making jam over the year's has evolved as you will notice if you have used this site. I use to do the Wam Bam Make in Jam method. But I have learned the slow process works and my jams are quite delicious.

I sure do know how hard it is when time is so short these day's and between work, kids and life itself it can be something of a chore to do anything slowly.

When you have the consistency you like it is time to add the remaining sugar.  I will then cook my jam on a rapid boil I can not stir down until I get my jam up to a temperature of 223 this will almost always get me to the gel stage. You can check in various ways. If you do not want to turn off the jam use the spoon in the freezer method.

I can turn my jam off and let it sit for  few minutes and it will almost always get that gel topping that tells me it is ready to jar up.

Once your jam has set you are ready to jar it up. Take your warm jars and pour your warm jam into the jar leaving a 1/2 inch from the rim of the jar.  After you have filled all your jar's wipe the rims clean and put on the top and twist. Put your jar's into a boiling water bath and let them boil for 12 minutes.

Once done remove your jar's and place them on a towel covered counter. Let your jars rest for 24 hours remove the twist clean your jars label and store. Do not store with the twist on.

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.

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