Ready in: 150
Approximately 6 half pint jars
lbs. (about 2 quarts)
Lemon Juice (for sweet jam, not needed for sour cherry)
Royal® Premium Fruit Pectin
Unsalted Butter (optional)
- Prepare water bath canner, jars and lids per manufacturer's instructions or USDA guidelines (http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/.) Wash and prepare cherries removing stems and damaged fruit. No need to pit at this point. Crush cherries in a large stainless steel or enameled pot with a potato masher or the bottom of a drinking glass. Add 1/2 cup of water.
- Bring to a boil on high heat then simmer for 10 minutes. Pour cherry mash into a jelly bag, strainer, or colander lined with 3 layers of damp cheese cloth collecting in a stainless steel or glass bowl. Drain until juice stops dripping. If the mash is still very wet, and has stopped dripping, gently press the mash to begin the juice flowing again. Aggressive pressing will produce a cloudy jelly, but, will give a higher juice yield. Measure 5 cups of sugar and set aside.
- Measure 3 - 1/2 cups prepared cherry juice and add to a 6-8 quart stainless steel or enameled pot. If not enough juice is collected, the juice can wither be diluted to the volume with water or pour water through the mash bed until the desired amount is reached. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice if using sweet cherries and the contents of 1 box of Royal® Premium Fruit Pectin; mix until dissolved. Turn on heat to high and stir constantly to avoid scorching. Optionally, 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter may be used to reduce foaming.
- Bring to a rolling boil (a boil that does not stop bubbling when stirred.) Stir in 5 cups of sugar, adding all at once. Return to a full boil stirring constantly and boil for 1 minute. Turn off and remove from heat.
- Skim off any surface foam. Optionally, foam may be reserved in a clean glass or jar and stored in the refrigerator; the bubbles will breakdown to provide fresh usable jelly.
- Ladle into hot jars. Wipe rim and threads. Place and center lid and screw on metal band (hand-tighten, firmly.) Process in a water bath canner for 5 minutes (please refer to USDA guidelines (http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/.)) Remove jars and place on towel to cool. You should hear a popping sound as the jars cool. Once cool, check jars for proper seal by pushing in the center of the lid. If the lid springs back, the jar did not seal properly and will need to be refrigerated.