The addition of high-pectin raspberries helps this jam to set quickly without losing the fresh flavour of the cherries through lengthy cooking. It's particularly good on toast with fresh ricotta, or simply add a dollop to natural yoghurt. You can make this jam in larger batches, but it's a good idea not to do more than double the quantities, given the quantity of cherries that need to be pitted. Makes about 1 litre.
- 1 kg cherries, pitted
- 125 gm raspberries (about 1 punnet)
- 1 lemon, finely grated rind and juice only
- 660 gm (3 cups) white sugar (see note)
- 2 vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped
- 30 ml brandy or kirsch (optional)
- 1Preheat oven to 120C. Coarsely chop half the cherries, then place all cherries in a large saucepan, add raspberries, lemon rind and juice and stir occasionally over medium-high heat until tender and juicy (15-20 minutes). Measure cherry mixture into a clean pan, then weigh out sugar. You’ll need three parts sugar to four parts fruit.
- 2Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Spread sugar in an even layer on an oven tray and warm in oven for 10 minutes (see <a href="making-jam.htm">masterclass</a>). Place several saucers in freezer in preparation for testing jam’s setting point.
- 3Add warmed sugar, vanilla beans and seeds to cherry mixture, then stir until sugar dissolves. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally at first, then more frequently as mixture thickens, until bubbles subside and mixture begins to coat spatula in a thin layer (12-15 minutes). Remove from heat and test setting point by spooning a little jam onto a cold saucer (see <a href="making-jam.htm">masterclass</a>), placing it in a freezer for 1-2 minutes, then removing it and gently pushing the edge of the jam with your fingertip. If it wrinkles, the jam is cooked. If not, return jam to heat and cook for another few minutes, remove from heat and test again. Add brandy or kirsch, if desired, stir to combine, ladle into sterilised jars, seal jars and stand until cooled. Cherry-vanilla jam will keep refrigerated for 3-4 weeks after opening.
Note The ratio of sugar to fruit mixture is 3 parts sugar to 4 parts fruit. The volume of fruit mixture will vary from batch to batch; adjust the amount of sugar accordingly.