Sour Cherry Jam with Lemon and Grand Marnier, made with delicious Evans sour cherries picked from a friend’s garden just the other day. You can’t get any fresher and any more organic than that!
Song of the day: “Two High” by Moon Taxi.
Sour Cherry Jam with lemon and Grand Marnier is a labor of our love for freshness and amazing ingredients. This is definitely a farm to table delicious condiment that can be used in so many ways, and at first taste will have you becoming a big fan! From the plump juicy Evans cherries to the wonderful syrup of lemon, Grand Marnier, and organic cane sugar. Hand picked and processed in our very own bustling kitchen.
Sour Cherry Jam with Lemon and Grand Marnier, a Farm to Table experience!
Sour cherries are a fruit that I have been introduced to very late in my life. I remember picking choke cherries, Saskatoon berries and the norm strawberries and raspberries, but I have to be honest this is the very first time picking these vibrant and soft silky berries that demand elegance and delicate maneuvers to take them from the branches of the very tree they grew on.
Years ago when I was in my teens okay many many years ago, lol, I would go with my parents and aunt and uncle. My auntie Maria and uncle Lou were berry whisperers. They had a way of knowing just where to find berries for the picking. I don’t know how they did it, but this I knew, our pails and I mean paailssssss would be full to the brim, and we would be enjoying Saskatoon pie, Saskatoon turnovers and anything Saskatoon dessert related for quite some time. I loved picking berries, I would pick a bush and one branch at a time take all the berries off till it was bare. I moved onto another and another, until my mom would be pulling me into the car. I get so focused, almost meditative when I am doing work like this.
Nicoletta just loves working with sour cherries. We were excited when our friends Margaret and Raymond from Kitchen Frau told us that their cherry tree was still full of ripe cherries and if we wanted we could pick some. Well, Nicoletta and I are not ones to pass up an opportunity to get some fresh organic produce and we always love visiting with Margaret and Raymond who have such a wonderful place in the country and are such lovely people.
I have to say I am really happy to see the weather holding in a summer pattern. Sunny skies and warm temperatures keeping smiles and joyous feelings in abundance. I don’t know why, but I am the high man when it comes to picking. Maybe it is because I love heights so much. I love that feeling of freedom that comes when you are high up and it feels like you are on top of the world. I was on the ladder for our Saskatoon picking a few months ago and today I am on the ladder again tackling the upper branches of these loaded Evans sour cherry trees.
Today we also have some of our other good friends, Melanie and Tom from The Nomadic Wife picking with us. It is nice to have other fellow bloggers as friends, plenty of opportunity for inspiration and good eats. Look at these amazing plump jewels of pure juicy goodness, just begging to be picked and transformed. Well, we are definitely going to do that today! Nicoletta and I had such a wonderful day with our friends, sharing good laughs, an amazing lunch prepared by Margaret and Raymond, and going home with a substantial amount of sour cherries which will go to very good use.
One thing we knew for sure was that a part of these sour cherries was going to be used in making jam. Nicoletta is very good at making jams. I think she inherited it from her father Franco. He is a master jam maker. When we are in Rome we are always pillaging the cupboards of a few jars of his famous marmellata. When we were married in Italy my father in law made jams and we gave them to our guests as remembrances for the wedding! There was nothing but praises from people about those jams. Luckily for me, Nicoletta has that gene and we are enjoying her talent and this amazing tart yet sweet enough to subdue the tartness of this Sour Cherry Jam with Lemon and Grand Marnier.
I love that crystallization that is happening as we mix the cherries with some sugar, lemon, and Grand Marnier. Oh, I almost forgot, I wanted to share a great tip in how to pit the sour cherries thanks to Margaret. She told us to use a plastic straw. You just push it into the cherry and the stem part and it pushes the pit out the other end. When the straw gets dull just snip a bit off the end with some scissors and you are good to go again. I have to say what a brilliant and cost effective pitting tool. We were done pitting all those cherries in no time at all. Some of the cherries I left with the pit in so we could make some whiskeyed cherries and some in syrup.
This jam is so easy: all the ingredients go into a pot with the pitted sour cherries. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer and just stir occasionally and take the foam that forms on top. Forty minutes later and we take a hand blender and smoothen out the jam a bit leaving some chunks for an interesting textural experience.
With the jam ready and the jars sterilized in a 250° F oven, we are ready to jar this jam. The jam you want to put in the jars hot putting the lids on and tightened right away. This will seal the lid and ensure that the jam will stay preserved for quite some time. The best part no putting the jars in boiling water to seal, less work more time for fun!
The first thing that strikes you as you scoop the jam from the jar is its consistency, not runny, not too thick, but just right, the kind that is easy to spread on some toast, or English muffin, or like we did on some lemon ricotta pancakes. The flavor is so vibrant, the Evans sour cherries giving that rich tart flavor, and the sugar comes in to take a bit of that away to bring balance to this sour cherry jam. In the back drop, the Grand Marnier lingers ever so subtly adding a nice twist to the mix, and the lemon keeps things on a fresh note.
Nicoletta and I are quite smitten with this Sour Cherry Jam with Lemon and Grand Marnier, I know her dad would be proud. A great adventure starting from the start of hand picking them, to the processing, and the finale bringing flavors together for a great end result. If you have some sour cherries and don’t know what to do with them, try this jam, it’s easy and so so flavorful, it will surely make you smile!
Have a wonderful day!
Song of the day: “Two High” by Moon Taxi.
- 6 cups sour cherries, washed, dried and pitted
- 2.5 cups organic cane sugar
- 1 lemon, the juice
- 2 Tbsp Grand Marnier
- Wash jars and lids and place them on a baking sheet in the oven at 250° F. Let dry for about 1/2 hour.
- Stir together cherries and sugar in a large saucepan. Add lemon juice and Grand Marnier.
- Bring to a boil on medium heat, stirring frequently.
- Remove the foam on top
- Cook for about 40 minutes.
- Loosely blend with a hand blender.
- Ladle jam into warm jars, wiping the rims and close tightly.
With the sour cherries in syrup (recipe coming soon) we made these lovely and delicious:
Sour Cherry Mini Galettes
Making our recipes? Take a pic and tag us on Instagram: #sugarlovespices. You’re going to be in our gallery!
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