One year our sweet cherry tree was overladen with cherries. Miraculously we were able to harvest them before the birds and bugs got their fill.
I pitted and froze bags and bags of cherries. My fingers were purple for days. I cooked with cherries until the family begged me to stop. Apparently not everyone is crazy about cherries. Weird.
So I made jam. Cherries and lime are excellent flavor partners. Lime’s tartness cuts cherry’s sweetness, enhancing the flavor of both.
We cut our cherry trees down over the winter. It is a crop that requires more attention than we were able to give. So I was especially excited when I was asked to be a “Canbassador” for the Washington State Fruit Commission.
What is a Canbassador?
As a Canbassador, I received a box of beautiful sweet, luscious cherries. The expert fruit farmers here in Washington are obviously much better at growing cherries than I am. My part was to then make all kinds of wonderful preserved cherry items and write about them. (Yeah, it’s a tough job, but I was up for it!)
You can find out lots more about our wonderful Washington stone fruits over at the SweetPreservation site. There are instructions for canning and freezing fruit, all kinds of ideas for throwing a “preservation party,” recipes, tips for choosing the best fruit at the grocery store, and professionally designed labels to download. You can even get a copy of the “Of course I canned” badge for your own blog (see to the left).
Since we used the last jar of Cherry-Lime Jam sometime around Christmas, I was anxious to get another batch put up. The texture here is similar to a marmalade or preserve. It is a bit more of a syrup and fruit combination than most jam recipes.
- 4 cups pitted sweet cherries
- 4 cups sugar
- Zest and juice from 2 limes, approx. ¼ cup
- ¼ cup water
- Add the cherries, sugar, lime juice and water to a large Dutch oven.
- Slowly bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
- Turn the heat up a little and cook rapidly, stirring often to prevent sticking, until the jam reaches the gelling point, about 35 minutes.
- Add the lime zest, stirring to evenly distribute throughout the jam.
- Use the plate method to check for gelling or use a digital thermometer. Gelling is reached at 220 degrees or 8 degrees above the boiling point of water.
- Spoon the hot jam into prepared jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace.
- Wipe the lip of each jar with a damp paper towel, top the jars with a lid and a lid ring.
- Process the jars in a water bath canner for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool completely
More Cherry Recipes
Check back all this week for even more jam and preserves recipes using sweet cherries from Washington!
Full disclosure: This recipe was made with cherries I received from the Washington State Fruit Commission.