Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tip of the Week...and some Jam

I've made tons of jam (yes, literally, tons!!) and cherry is by far one of my favorites, except I hate, after I've gone to the trouble of using one of the many cherry pitters I have (3 to be exact), to hear that "crunchy" noise when I turn on the food processor to mince the fruit and knowing one of the pits has slipped through.

Today, I made Rainier Cherry Jam, which is a cultivar of the Bing and Van cherries.  It was developed in 1952 at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington by Harold Fogle.  The lovely golden color with a reddish blush is one of my favorite cherries to make jam and bake with.  Luckily, at our farmer's markets I was able to get 8 pints for $20.00, which if you know about these cherries, they are considered premium cherries and can run in the supermarkets here in the U.S. up to $5.99 per pound and have been known to run one-dollar a piece in Japan!
Now, let me show you what I will call, "Tip of the Week!"  Tired of failing to remove all the pits with manufactured pitters, I came up with this technique.  All you need is a Chopstick (which you can buy or save from your next Chinese dinner outing) and your hand--really a thumb and finger.
 Position the cherry between your index finger and thumb with the stem end facing you.  (I must apologize for the stained fingers--I've been working on paper flower projects, hand coloring the paper with Copic Markers, PanPastels, and inks)!

While holding the cherry, use the opposite hand to push the pit through.  This worked so beautifully that I was able to pit 4 pints in less than 10 minutes--And, I absolutely knew I had gotten every pit!!

Once every cherry was pitted, I pulsed them in the food processor and all I heard was the quiet whirring of the motor:-D
Rainier Cherry~Vanilla Jam
4 pints of Rainier Cherries (about 4 cups pureed fruit)
2 Vanilla beans, split and scrapped
1 pkg. (1.75 oz) Sure Jell premium fruit prectin
4 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. unsalted butter (optional--keeps jam from foaming too much)

For step-by-step directions--follow link to Cherry Cranberry Jam

This technique has renewed my interest in baking with cherries too; knowing that a guest won't accidentally bite on a pit and break a tooth! Enjoy!!


 

13 comments:

  1. Thank you for that wonderful tip, the best ones are the simple ones, it is filed away for future use. Those cherries look wonderful - you got a real bargain there!x

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    1. I should add...if you're pitting red cherries, you might want to wear plastic gloves, but yes, this is simple and "who needs expensive fancy gadgets!!"

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  2. What a great tip!! The color of the jam is beautiful and I know just how good your jam tastes! Hugs

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    1. Aren't you glad you have an obsessive jam-making sister!! Some is coming your way:-D XOXO

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  3. $5.99 a pound? You're funny. They're $8.99 a pound here. Although, if I really wanted to make jam, I could probably invest in a flat of fruit from Costco. We always did strawberry at home.

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    1. I know they can be pricey, but they're so worth it sometimes--the taste is a cross between a cherry and a peach (at least that's my take on it). And, the jam is just so yummy, so when I saw them at this price, I had to grab up a bunch. I still have another 4 pints to make into another batch later today. XOXO

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  4. Love your tip for pitting cherries! So simple! My grandsons love cherries and would love this jam. I love to make jam for my family and friends. Enjoy your jam session! xoxo ♥
    Martha Ellen

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    1. I have another 4 pints to do, but I'm not dreading the pitting process! XOXO

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  5. Love the cherry pitting idea! I have a pitter that I bought awhile back, and some pits always seem to make it into my cobblers or pies.... I always warn people to eat carefully. I notice there is a similar warning on frozen pies I have purchased! I still have a few cherries in the freezer from last year, but had none this year. What few were on the tree, the birds beat us to! :(
    DeniseB

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  6. Denise, This was 100% no pits! First time ever with all the cherry dishes I've made. Easy and cheap, what more can we ask for:-D

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  7. What a great tip. Susan I am enjoying your blog so much, I'm copying lots of your recipes and making a binder soooooo that when my kitchen is finally finished .... hopefully before Christmas I will be able to actually taste some of your wonderful recipes.

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  8. I just made my very first batch of Cherry Jam. It is my new favorite. You are right about worrying wether the pitter got out all the pits. I wish I had of known about the chopstick method before I invested 17.00 in a cherry pitter! The jam turned out amazing I must say.
    Tracy

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  9. Thanks for the cherry-pitting tip! Using a chopstick is a great idea!

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