Make Ahead

Sweet Cherry Pinot Grigio Jam

June 25, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Makes Six 8 oz jars
Author Notes

This jam was developed based on a recipe by Christine Ferber, the fairy godmother of jams! I selected sweet cherries to use as they are readily available at my Wholesale market during the cherry season. This jam is a bestseller for me at my Farmer's Market, I hope you will enjoy it as well. I have also included a basic recipe for Granny Smith Apple Jelly. I use this jelly to assure a gel as I never use commerical pectin. If you prefer, you can substitute a packet of pectin. The recipe for the jelly will make enough for at least six to seven batches of fruit jams. —Sunchowder

What You'll Need
  • Basic Granny Smith Apple Jelly Recipe
  • 4 pounds Granny Smith Apples (whole)
  • 5 cups Sugar
  • 6 1/2 cups Water
  • 1 Juice of a large Lemon
  • Cherry Pinot Grigio Jam
  • 3 pounds Cherries, pitted and split in half
  • 2 1/2 pounds Sugar
  • 1 Lemon, both juice and zest
  • 3/4 cup Pinot Grigio
  1. Basic Granny Smith Apple Jelly Recipe
  2. Scrub the apples and cut the fruit into quarters. Leave the skin in tact and place them in a large dutch oven, cover with the 6 1/2 cups of water. Bring this up to a slow boil and simmer on low for about 35 minutes (the apples should just be starting to fall apart). Get out a container that you can plase the chinois over. Pour this mixture into your chinois and use the wooden tool (or back of spatula) to press all the juice out of the mixture. You will then take this juice and strain it again. I use a smaller strainer and take a wet piece of cheesecloth and pour the mixture through again--this ensures the jelly will be clear. Now take 4 1/2 cups of this mixture and place in your preserving pan--add the sugar and lemon. Bring this mixture up to a boil and continue to hold there until your thermometer reaches 221. You can skim as you go. Once you reach 221, shut the fire and let it rest for 5 minutes. Go back now and turn the fire back up to reach 221 degrees. In my experience, this ensures a good gel. Pour this mixture into 8 oz jars, seal and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. You should have 6 jars and you will be using one for the Cherry Pinot Grigio Recipe!
  1. Cherry Pinot Grigio Jam
  2. Place the 3 pounds of cherries into a non-reactive container, add sugar and lemon and cover and let this macerate overnight. The next day, pour out this mixture into your preserving pan and add 1/2 cup of the Pinot Grigio. Bring this mixture up to 219, stir all along the way to avoid sticking and burning. Once the mixture has reached 219, add the 8 oz jar of Granny Smith Apple Jelly to the mixture. Stir and bring this up to 221. Once the mixture is holding at 221/222 add the balance of the 1/4 cup of Pinot Grigio to the mixture, this will naturally cut the foam and give it a fresh "winey" taste. Shut the fire and skim the foam off the top. Pour into your jars and process in a hot water bath canner for 11 minutes. This jam is fabulous as a dessert topping, scone topping or quick bread mix, glaze for pork--so many uses!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • AntoniaJames
  • Lizthechef
  • SallyCan
  • Sunchowder

16 Reviews

debsiegel August 25, 2015
If you use a packet of commercial pectin instead of the green apple jelly, does it affect the overall yield? Can't wait to try this!
TheWimpyVegetarian August 10, 2010
This looks wonderful. I've done limited canning to date, but have gotten really motivated by all of you here to dig into it more. And this looks like a wonderful one to start with. I love ANYTHING with cherries, and how can you lose with wine?!! I'm sure I'll have questions, and will read everyone's comments here carefully before starting. Wish me luck!
AntoniaJames June 30, 2010
Okay, one more question about the green apple jelly . . . is there a standard ratio of 8 oz. jar to a certain amount of fruit in the jam in which it's used, e.g., three pounds of fruit for each jar, or does it vary from fruit to fruit, or does it even really matter that much? Just wondering . . . . Incidentally, we just made weekend plans that will take me up by the American River (South Fork, where there is great kayaking), about a mile from a hill covered with cherry trees. I'm making this jam on Monday!! ;o)
Sunchowder June 30, 2010
Great Question Antonia! The largest batch of fruit that I ever preserve is 4.5 lbs, and I have not used more than 8 oz of Apple Jelly in any of my batches. The smallest amount of fruit I will turn out into my pan is usually 2 pounds or more. I use 7 oz of the apple jelly in a 2.5 ounce batch. I don't like my jams to be too sweet, so I do like to eliminate even that 1 ounce on a smaller batch. When you get more experience with it, you will be able to "tell" when the jam is ready and you can always double check with the plate in the freezer to bring your confidence up. With this jam in particular, there are telltale signs that it is ready by the way the edges of the jam look in the pot and the thickness of the jam at it hits 221/222. Depending on how fresh the fruit is, how fresh the lemon is, you do get variation. It is exactly like cooking to be honest. Each batch is a little different, some will be looser, some will be more firm. I can't wait to hear how your jam turns out, please let us know!!! The worst that can happen is that you have a lovely Cherry Syrup! But...I have complete confidence that you will come out with amazing jam...:)
Lizthechef June 30, 2010
OK, I feel brave - can I try this with blueberries??
AntoniaJames June 30, 2010
I've been wondering that too! Our bushes are ripening quickly, and we'll soon have many more berries than the birds can eat (we're feeding all the robins and wrens in the neighborhood, and all of the out-of-town cousins, it seems) . . ;o). . . I usually just put them up in syrup, but this year, I'm looking forward to making jam. I am so thrilled to see this recipe, with its many helpful instructions. Plus, I love the idea of adding wine!! ;o)
Sunchowder June 30, 2010
Ha Liz and Antonia! Of course you can do this with Blueberries, my recommendations for fruit to sugar are: 72 oz Blues (4.5 lbs) to 50 oz Sugar, plus you are adding 8 oz of the Apple Jelly after the mixture hits 219. You can add wine just as with the Cherry Recipe, My personal favorite is adding DiSaronno (this is added at the very end, maybe 1/2 oz depending on your taste--you don't want to overpower it), Violet Essence is also amazing to use and I have a source for that if you are interested. The other flavor you can add to the Blueberries is Ouzo or Sambuca--I do a Blueberry Licorice Jam (based on another Ferber recipe) that is fabulous with Goat Cheese. Again this hard spirit should be added at the very end and sparingly, maybe 1/4 ounce. If you want to macerate the blueberries, you have to cook them in your preserving pan up to a boil, simmer for a few minutes to "break" them, and then put that mixture into your nonreactive container overnight. I don' t usually macerate Blueberries myself, I cook them right on the spot and have great results. If you are looking to make a spicy version for glazes, you can add 2 oz of a spicy pepper such as habanero (chopped extremely fine), or you can add 4 oz of a more mild pepper such as Jalapeno. Dried peppers work just as well--I grind them fresh in my Vita Mix--if you do it that way, you can't go wrong with adding a generous tablespoon of ground peppers and taste as you go. Do tell me how these turn out!
the S. June 13, 2012
Hi I am interested in your suggestion for blueberry and licorice jam, it sounds great. I am curious to know if you have had any experience using liquorice root in any of your jams? i have some ground liquorice root and would like to give it a go but have struggled finding much information on how to use it and what quantities are recommended. I have only seen it used mainly in herbal teas.
AntoniaJames June 30, 2010
I can't wait to make this, and to try some of your other ideas suggested in this very helpful dialogue with Sally!! Thank you for all the great advice, and for this great pair of recipes. ;o)
Sunchowder June 30, 2010
Hi Antonia! I responded above with several ideas, thanks so much for your appreciation above :) I would love to hear how the jams turn out for you.
SallyCan June 25, 2010
Your recipe looks tasty~have you ever tried it with a red wine? Does your method of adding your apple jelly instead of pectin work in other recipes? What is the general proportion of apple jelly to flavorings? I often just grate an apple into my jam, but am not always pleased with the little pieces of apple.
Sunchowder June 25, 2010
Hi Sally, This works perfectly with Red Wine also, a lovely Pinot Noir. I just like the lighter wine as these are sweet cherries I am using in this recipe. The Apple Jelly works for any recipe that calls for pectin--you will just have to experiment a bit and possibly adjust the sugar (meaning a touch less sugar and possibly adding more lemon). I don't usually cook more than 3 pounds of fruit at a time and I find that 8 oz of Apple Jelly will help to set my Cherry Jam, my Blueberry Jam and my Jalapeno Jam. I use overnight macerating alot in my own products so that I can heat the liquid up to gel point without ruining the fruit and giving it that carmelized taste. These methods take longer, but the end result to so worth it. I don't use an apple jelly in my Strawberry, Rasbperry or Blackberry Jams. When I am doing fruit butters, sometimes I add a bit in to give it a beautiful sheen. Most of my jams have a more European loose set compared to American Jams, this is a direct result of not using a commerical pectin. Hope that helps and I love sharing about what I do, so please feel free!
SallyCan June 26, 2010
Thanks for your thorough response, Sunchowder. I've been having difficulty understanding and controlling the stiffness of my jellies and jams, and I think that using apple jelly pectin might be the way to go. I may also be a way to salvage some of my stiffer batches of jelly. I also really like your idea of macerating the fruit~as well as keeping it in tact, it probably gives it fresher taste. Have you ever made herb jellies? All of my herbs are growing wildly this year, and I thought I'd try to make some. I've got recipes for wine, sage and rosemary jellies in some very old cookbooks that belonged to my mother that I thought could be a starting point, but they call for pectin, and I think I'll substitute your apple jelly. I've got lots of mint and lemon catmint (catnip)~what kind of wine would you pair with mint and/or lemon catmint?
Sunchowder June 30, 2010
Hi Sally! I think the Apple Jelly will work perfectly in an Herb Jam. I would try pairing the mint with lemon and lemon zest and some fabulous Rum to start---it would make a wonderful and fun mojito jam! Add the spirit at the very end of the processing--I would not add more than one ounce of rum so that it does not overpower the jam. I would make a batch plain without out any wine or spirit and then I would try a batch with a white Zinfindel to see what that would be like. Tell me how these turn out! You can also add mint to a standard Strawberry or Cherry Jam recipe for delicious change.
Lizthechef June 25, 2010
Printing out both recipes and saving until I feel brave enough to try the jelly - thanks!!
Sunchowder June 25, 2010
I tried to load my photo, but I kept getting errors, I will try later so that you can see the finished product.