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
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!
Cherry Pinot Grigio Jam
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!