Accidentally Cooking

Documenting my mistakes in the garden, kitchen and pantry

Tart Cherry and Blueberry Jam

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I still can’t find good, domestic sweet cherries for sale anywhere, and the imported ones are costing anywhere from 3.99$ to 5.99$ per pound, depending on where I shop, the day of the week, the phase of the moon and a few other less obvious factors. Since I can’t find any of those, and since I’ve still got a few tart cherries left over to play with, I decided to make a batch of tart cherry and blueberry jam. The fun, bright colors are wonderfully relevant to the holiday.

Most of my jam recipes are based on recipes from my book or from various websites that I frequent. I wasn’t really able to find a good recipe for a jam like what I’m making here (at least not one that I liked), so I decided to wing it by combining a few other recipes and general techniques that I’ve picked up over the past few months [1].

Tart Cherry and Blueberry Jam

  • 2 cups tart cherries, stemmed, pitted and roughly chopped [2]
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries, rinsed, sorted, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sugar (reserved)
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Box, Sure Jel Low-Sugar Pectin

Combine the cherries blueberries, lemon juice, cinnamon and 2 cups of sugar in a large non-reactive bowl. Allow to macerate for 1 hour. Put in a pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Let cool, return to bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.

DSC_3343

The next day, strain the syrup into a pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Mix the pectin and remaining sugar together and stir into syrup. Add the berries, stir, and increase heat to high. Bring to a hard rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute. Ladle into prepared jars and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes [3].

Results

Yeah, I didn’t get the ratios quite right, and the end result was pretty thick. The jam was a gorgeous deep purple color and the bits of blue and red fruit were absolutely gorgeous in it. However, it’s noticable that there are fewer cherries than blueberries, something I’ll have to correct for next year.

DSC_3345

Notes

  1. Apparently my book learnin’ wasn’t good enough, because I got the ratios quite wrong.
  2. There’s noticeably more blueberries than cherries in the final result. This may be because the tender little cherries absorbed more color than the deep-blue blueberries lost. Next year, I’m thinking I’ll use 4 cups cherries, and a pint or a pint and a half of the blueberries. Maybe a little lemon zest too…
  3. I actually tried an experiment today. Instead of a normal boiling water bath canner, I used a tip from the internets and processed the jars in my new pressure canner. I’ve read two competing ideas. The first that I used was to boil in the pressure canner with the lid on (but the weighted pressure regulator off) with water filled up most of the height of the jars but not covering. In this configuration, I boiled for 15 minutes. The second suggestion, which I have not yet tried, is to pressure process like normal at 6 lbs of pressure for 10 minutes. I’ll try that next.
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Author: Andrew Whitworth

I'm a software engineer from Philadelphia PA. Sometimes I like to go out to my garden, or step into my kitchen and make a really big mess of things.

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