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How to pit a cherry... and then make jam!

OK first off... the first annual steph chows jam exchange is underway!!! I've gotten some very exciting emails back from some of you already detailing what you sent... and MAN does it sound delicious!!! Maybe I should have just had you all send your jam to me... now that would have been an evil little plot if I do say so myself :) Thank you so much everyone for joining!!

If you signed up or think you signed up and didn't get an email from me this weekend with your exchange person's address... please email me right now and let me know!!! ( stephchows at )

Now lets talk about some cherries. I bought a GIGANTIC container of cherries (like 10 lbs no joke) for the grand total of $6 at the public market last weekend. Hence why I had to make some cherry jam! I don't own a cherry pitter... my mom does, she said I could drive on down and borrow it... yeah 10 hours round trip... for a cherry pitter... no thanks :) Instead of going and buying one (the obvious solution), I went to the internet to find inventive ways to pit said cherries. One place had a great idea of using a straw... too bad the straws I had at home were so flimsy they just bent in half LOL (great idea though, it would work perfectly if you had a strong straw!) Next I tried a skewer... a few self inflicted jab marks later I moved on to my most obvious solution... the "squeeze them till the pit pops out" method.

thumb pins the pit to your other finger (or palm of your hand) as the rest of the fruit goes mushing in all directions (notice this method also gets rid of the step where it tells you to chop up the cherries) giddy up it's a two for one deal!

TADA!! Easy as pie! Yeah that puddle of cherry juice next to the measuring cup... that was from the straw method failure :D

I must say this was a seriously fast method! No buying a cherry pitter for me, think of all the time spent placing each cherry carefully into the pitter... my way... pure brutal force! Bring it on!

Cherry Jam
5 cups pitted cherries (somewhere around there)
2 cups sugar
1 package low sugar pectin (I used sure gel)

I used the recipe on the back of the low sugar pectin... except they say measure exactly and they also say to use 3 cups of sugar... Yeah.... I decided "screw that I only want to use 2 cups" and you know what... it jelled up no issues, and tastes great!!!

Take your 5 cups of pitted cherries and toss them in a sauce pan with 1/4 cup sugar and the package of pectin, stir it all up. Bring to a rolling boil (that means when you stir there are still bubbles bubblin away). Then add the rest of the sugar (1 3/4 cups) and stir that in. Return to a boil and stir for one minute. Remove from heat and process in a 10 minute water bath. More info on processing here.


22 chews:

Anonymous said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing. Sounds great.

Thad said...

I am so jealous. Last time we were in Rochester we bought 3 or 4 of the biggest baskets of cherries you can get there. Lots and lots of cherry pie!!!

However, any single-cherry pitting method would take forever to do that many cherries. Fortunately Neva's parents bought me a high-throughput cherry pitter so that I would make them more pies. Not a bad trade-off. It's the best thing in the world!

ChineseKite said...

This is a good idea! Thinking of pits, my motivation of making jam goes down to 0. Thanks for letting us know of this easy way.

Natalie said...

This looks great, and I am so jealous! Cherries are around 3.99 - 4.99 a pound here, no cherry jam for me! I need to decide what to make for the jam exchange soon!

I've just started making out my list of what to buy for Christmas presents. A cherry pitter for you. The jam looks wonderful.
Love you, Mom

stephchows said...

Sunshinemag- thanks!

Thad- NO WAY!!! I wish you guys still lived here so bad I miss you all so much!! You need to come visit more often :) I had no clue there are high throughput cherry pitters??? Neva's parents rock!!! Too funny they bought it so you'd make more pies, I like their thinking :)

ChineseKite- Looks like you had fun at green acres though! Woohoo berry picking!

Natalie- yikes!! Yeah this was a crazy deal, most of the vendors at the market were selling them for $2 a lb... not sure what was up with this guy... but I was happy to find him! I can't wait to see what you make!

Mom- hahaha maybe you should get me the high output one like thad and neva have!

Vanessa said...

Mmmm, I LOVE cherries, but sadly find that they often go bad on me before I get to eat them all. I'll have to try this next time I get a batch.

Anonymous said...

Hi! It sounds like the low sugar pectin worked great for your jam!! I might have to give it another chance. I made a cherry crisp a few days ago and used the straw method. My fingers were so stained from the cherry juice!! Do you have that happen to you, too?
Peace, Stephanie

Astra Libris said...

Ooooh! Cherry jam is my all-time favorite jam, and I've never tasted homemade cherry jam!! I'm imagining it dreamily right now... :-) Your jar of jam is Soooo gorgeous... and your pitting method is pure genius!

stephchows said...

Vanessa- so true, I was worried I wouldn't make it through these but I ate a TON lol all I had left was 5 cups when I went to make the jam :)

Stephanie- Yeah I was totally happy it worked out well! I thought my fingers would be red for sure but it all washed off, no staining! Who knows why LOL lucky I guess :)

stephchows said...

Astra Libris- I had never had home made either until this batch! It's so good! I think I'll add some vanilla bean into it next time :)

Jeanne said...

Looks sooo good. I was planning on making cherry jam, but haven't gotten around to that one yet... Yours looks so good, maybe I will! :)

Anne said...

I was actually wondering how to pit cherries a little while ago. Thanks for this! Your jam looks delicious.

Sal said...

Looks great! I frequently find myself with large amounts of fresh-off-the-tree cherries, and it's nice to have some new recipes to use them in. Thanks!

Pam said...

I love cherry jam - thanks for the great recipe.

Selba said...

Love homemade jams! My mom usually makes strawberry and pineapple jams, too bad that it's very difficult to find cherry here in Jakarta, not too mention how very expensive it is :)

Marta said...

Thank for the step-by-step on cherry-pitting!! I never have done this, I normally just cut around the pit, which is extremely time-consuming and kind of wasteful because I always leave a bit of fruit behind.
This jam looks great!!!

Jennifer said...

I cant believe you found 10lbs of cherries for so cheap!!! Perfect for jam making indeed! I love this low sugar version! The squeeze til it pops method is pretty genius!!! :)

Leslie said...

I love finding other Rochester Bloggers - my site isn't all cooking, it's got some personal finance and other random stuff mixed in.

I just got a bunch of cherries and peaches from the public market - can't wait to try this jam. (Low sugar is the best way to go)

Pitting by hand is fun! it's the only way to handle cherries.

Great blog, I just subscribed and look forward to reading more!

Reeni said...

You have such patience for pitting all of them! Fresh cherry jam sounds divine!

Cathie said...

Fantastic! ♥ homemade jam & this looks fantastic. Can just imagine how beautiful it tastes.

Steph said...

I actually saw a cherry pitter the other day I was going to buy, but then I realized I would probably never use it just because I love cherries so much I'd eat them before they end up in something..haha. I love the way you made your jam. I can't stand jam that tastes like sugar. That's proalby why I rarely eat jam. Once we made jam for my food and nutrition class in high school and I thought we made strawberry sugar!

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