The lady at the corner produce store was a little surprised when I said I was going to make jam with the cherries I was buying. She sees plenty of home canners in there every summer, and not many of them bother with cherries. When I got home and began halving and pitting them, I realized why — they’re a lot more work than berries that just have to be washed and crushed.
Still, I had memories of cherry jam to keep me going. Also, the produce lady had said these were probably the last of this year’s cherries, and I didn’t want to let the season go by — as I’d let the raspberry season slip away — without doing something special. I had meant to make raspberry-ginger jam, to put in sandwiches with Nutella — doesn’t that sound good? But I’d never gotten around to it. Though I may still make ginger marmalade.
I did hang onto the raspberry taste by using commercial gelatin mix, which also sweetens the jam, though not too much. If you don’t want to do that, you can use an envelope of unflavored gelatin instead.
- 3 cups halved, pitted fresh cherries
- 1 dry quart fresh blueberries
- 1 large mango
- 1-½ tsp. peeled, grated fresh ginger root
- 1 (3-ounce) box raspberry gelatin mix
- 2 Tb. white wine (optional, but it cuts the “artificial” taste of the gelatin mix)
- When you’ve halved and pitted the cherries, wash them (no point in doing it before).
- Peel the mango and cut away the flesh in large pieces, scraping along the pit to get as much as you can.
- In a food processor (or by hand, but it takes a lot longer) chop the cherries and mango into pieces about the same size as blueberries.
- Wash the blueberries, pick over for stems, put in a large bowl and crush with a potato masher or the back of a large spoon.
- Put three tablespoons of water in a small bowl and empty the gelatin mix into it. Make sure all the gelatin touches the water, but don’t stir. Save your stirring arm for the next step.
- Put the cherries, mango, and blueberries in a large pot and heat, stirring constantly, till they begin to boil.
- Take the pot off the heat.
- Whisk in the gelatin and water, which by now will have combined into a thick liquid.
- Put back on the burner and heat for one minute.
- Stir in the wine, if you’re using it.
- Ladle into jars or whatever containers you’re using (this is more of a freezer jam) and let cool.