We were having guests over and I over did the shopping. I just now found a pound of cherries that I completely forgot about. So, I decided to make cherry ice cream, one of my husband’s favorite flavors (along with chocolate), and decided to use sweet cherry jam as an ingredient. Use this sweet cherry jam recipe for toast or your favorite gluten free desserts. I hope you enjoy this recipe. I wrote it so that whether or not you have a candy thermometer you can make it.
Cherry Jam (Naturally Gluten Free)
Fresh cherries turn into cherry jam with little effort. Control sugar levels and use organic fruit, if desired. Add to toast, ice cream or other desserts.
- 4 cups (1 lb./about 90) pitted and roughly chopped fresh cherries
- 1 Tablespoon agar agar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional, but recommended)
- Prepare to pit the cherries by wearing an apron and old clothing. Remove any kitchen mats that you do not wish to stain. Where thin gloves to to protect your hands, even if use a cherry pitter. This will prevent your hands, fingers and cuticles (the worst to clean) from staining.
- Pit the cherries.
- Coarsely chop them or cut each cherry into 4 to 5 pieces using a paring knife.
- Add cherries to a pot or dutch oven.
- Add agar agar and stir.
- Add water and bring to a boil and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until it reaches 220°F. Be sure to stir the mixture occasionally.
- Add 1 1/2 cups sugar, stir and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
- Add a little sauce to a small saucer, place in the freezer to cool and taste it. If it is sweet enough, make no changes to this recipe, If it is too tart for your tastes, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar to the saucepan and stir it well.*
- Cook the jam for a total of 15 minutes (10 additional minutes) or until it reaches 220°F. (Adjust the temperature between medium-high down to medium as needed. If you smell almost a burning odor but not quite, definitely lower it. If you see the mixture to start rapidly boiling, lower it. If it is just simmering, increase the temperature.)
- Set aside to cool to room temperature. Then stir in additional water, as needed. Stir in the almond extract, as well.
- Using a large spoon, spoon into clean jars and screw on the lid (not super tight if canning.)
- Refrigerate and use on toast, heat to top ice cream, use to flavor homemade ice cream, and in desserts such as cheesecake. If you are canning this jam, be sure to boil up to 16 ounce jars for 10 minutes to seal. The canning /sealing method prevents the need for refrigeration until the jar is opened.
If your hands do become stained, use lemon juice to lighten the stains, followed by washing them thoroughly with soap and water. Repeat as needed.
*The more sugar you add, the less cherry flavor your jam will have.
The color of your jam depend upon the color of your cherries.
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