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Cherry jam

I went to my parent’s home in France for a long weekend with a few friends. We had a fantastic time enjoying the sun, swimming in the pool and best of all picking cherries in the garden. This year they came early and if we’d arrived any later they would have been too ripe. The tree was covered in cherries and in just 15 minutes we had a big basket full of them, yum! The only problem was that they were so ripe we couldn’t have eaten all of them before they started to rot, so we made jam.

It feels so satisfying to pick fruit and then make something from them.

What you will need:

1kg of cherries
1kg of sugar
Empty jars

Cooking time – 1 hour

You can either de-stone the cherries before making the jam or after (it will not change the flavour). I didn’t remove them before as they were so ripe and used that weight to measure the sugar.

Put the cherries in a big pan with the sugar and mix so that the sugar covers the cherries. Put on a medium heat and stir occasionally until the sugar has completely melted and then turn the heat to low, cover the pan and leave to simmer. Stir the jam from time to time for about an hour. A white foam will create on the top of the jam, remove as much as possible.

Just before the jam is ready, get some empty jars, boil water and pour into the jars, this will disinfect them. Once the jam is ready, empty the water and pour in the jam – using a ladle or a jug can make this easier. Immediately seal the jar with the lid. Leave to cool and then refrigerate.

To make jam the rule I always use is the same weight in sugar as fruit, or a little less sugar if the fruit is nice and ripe.

Jams and chutneys can make great presents, all you need is some nice material, some beads and a label for it to look that bit special.