Make Ahead

Cherry Jam with Lemon-Pepper Shortbread

June 23, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Prep time 2 hours
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 12
Author Notes

The sweetness of this homemade cherry jam is nicely off-set by a fresh, spicy shortbread. A perfect summertime dessert that pairs beautifully with tea or coffee. - DolcettoConfections —DolcettoConfections

Test Kitchen Notes

As Merrill pointed out, this brilliant dessert is like "a deconstructed Linzer torte." Instead of jam embedded in a shortbread dough, it's spooned on top. Which means you can make both components ahead of time (up to 2 days) and assemble them to serve. In fact, you should make the shortbread at least a day ahead because the lemon and pepper come out of hibernation with a little sitting. The other great detail about the shortbread is DolcettoConfections's technique for "rolling" it out. Instead of chilling the dough and rolling it, she has you pat the dough (right after mixing it) to a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle between layers of plastic wrap. The dough then chills quickly and is ready for cookie cutting. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Cherry Jam:
  • 1 1/3 cups cherries, pitted and quartered
  • 1/4 cup
    2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup cherries, pitted and quartered, divided
  • Lemon-Pepper Shortbread
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshy ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
  1. Cherry Jam:
  2. Place 1 1/3 cup cherries and granulated sugar in saucepan. Stir to evenly combine.
  3. Over high heat, stir cherries and sugar constantly, scraping the bottom of the pot to keep the sugar from burning. Stir until mixture is dark and thick, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add 1/4 cup cherries to mixture, stirring constantly. Bring mixture back to a boil, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add remaining 1/4 cup cherries, stirring constantly. Bring mixture to full boil, about 1 minutes.
  6. Immediately remove pot from stove and pour jam in clean bowl to cool. When jam has reached room temperature, cover and place in refrigerator.
  1. Lemon-Pepper Shortbread
  2. In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and confectioner's sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add vanilla, black pepper, salt and lemon zest. Paddle on medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add flour to mixture. Paddle on low speed until just combined.
  5. Turn dough out onto counter and shape into rectangle with 1/4" thickness. Cover in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 325 °F. Prepare cookie sheet with SilPat or parchment paper.
  7. When dough is chilled, remove from refrigerator and unwrap. Using a 1.5" round cookie cutter, cut 12 rounds from the dough. Place on prepared cookie sheet and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  8. Bake at 325 °F until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on rack.
  9. To serve: spoon desired amount of jam over shortbread.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Franca
  • mrslarkin
  • MissGinsu
  • Teri
  • Lizthechef

18 Reviews

Franca November 21, 2013
Hi, is it just me but there something not right with the jam directions. It calls for a total of 1 1/3 cups of cherries in all but then there's 2 other additions of a 1/4 cup each therefore, do you add 1/2 cup less on the onset or does the recipe call for almost 2 cups of cherries total?

mrathmel December 6, 2011
Can I use frozen cherries? I'm planning to take these to a party on Friday, they look divine!
mrslarkin July 3, 2010
Sounds delicious. The cherries look like jewels!
MissGinsu July 3, 2010
Aha! I've had peppered strawberry jam (and loved it) but haven't tried pepper with cherries. Very nice!
Teri July 1, 2010
I love the mix of cherries and pepper. Yum.
Me too Teri! I love black pepper on just about everything, so I was pleased to come up with a dessert that used it as well!
Lizthechef July 1, 2010
Your recipe looks yummy - how does your jam come together without some form of pectin? I'm new into "jamming" and looking at cherry jam recipes to try - best of luck!
Hi Liz! The initial cooking of sugar and cherries releases all of the natural pectin found in the cherries. This really forms the "jam" base - the other two additions of cherries are simply for texture.

Good luck with your jamming!
dymnyno July 1, 2010
Beautiful and simple...just dazzling!
Many thanks!
Mariya July 1, 2010
This is so great! I love the spiced shortbread! YUM
Hi Mariya! The spiced shortbread is yummy! They are good by themselves, but I love the jam with them as well!
drbabs July 1, 2010
Called it! I knew this was a winner when I saw it congratulations--great recipe--I'm looking forward to trying it!
Hi DrBabs! You did call it! Hope you enjoy your results!
arielleclementine June 23, 2010
this is really lovely!
lapadia June 23, 2010
Nice recipe; your cherry jam looks Lovely!
TheWimpyVegetarian June 23, 2010
This looks wonderful!
drbabs June 23, 2010
I wish I could bake like you. This looks wonderful.