A very eatable Christmas: Cherry Jam | HerCanberra

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A very eatable Christmas: Cherry Jam

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About this time every four years, I start to think I actually am Nigella Lawson or Donna Hay.

I see a pop up cherry stand by the side of a main road in Canberra and think – yeah I’ll make cherry jam for my nearest and dearest for Christmas.

I buy a whole eight-kilo box of rich and plump cherries and start on my way dreaming of homemade cherry jam, in sweet little jars dressed by cute swatches of material and tied up with a ribbon.

But there is a lot of piping between them cherries and them jars. It takes me four years to forget the sticky kitchen massacre of the cherries, til amnesia sets in but for the memory of handing over the cute little jars of brandied cherry jam.

Cue boyfriend. Surely if he can pip his way through at least six kilos of cherries he must REALLY love me… turns out not only can he pip nearly the full eight kilos of cherries but he actually knows where to get the best jam jars in Canberra.

Test of love #304 passed, with bonus points for use of his JJPS (Jam Jar Positioning System).

24 jars later and it is one of the best batches of cherry jam, EVER and the perfect companion to a Christmas roast.

what you need


Preserving jars (4 kilos = 12 jars)
Cherry pipper (or an olive pipper)
A big pot that holds at least three to four litres
Ladle or big spoon
Time or a partner for pipping and Gin & Tonics to keep going
Newspaper to cover your pipping area.

food stuff

4 kilos of cherries
10 cups of sugar
10 vanilla beans
1.5 table spoons of lemon juice
½ cup of powered pectin
½ cup of brandy

what to do

1. Boil your preserving jars to sterilise and then set aside
2. Strip the vanilla beans removing the seeds and set aside
3. Combine pipped cherries, vanilla seeds and sugar in the pot and simmer, gently mash the cherries till there are no big pieces of fruit
4. Add the lemon juice and bring to the boil
5. Whisk in the powered pectin and maintain on the boil for 1 minute
6. Add the brandy and keep on the boil for another 30 seconds
7. Turn off the stove and while still hot use your ladel or spoon to fill the jars and then gentle half seal with the jar lid.

how to serve

Whichever way you like! It is so versatile: sitting richly on toast with a morning coffee, or dancing with sweetness as part of a roast. Perfect for the Christmas table!

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