Monday, October 3, 2011

Jam Slam 2011 - Choke Cherry Jelly

The choke cherries were abundant this year!  Without even really trying, I picked 4 L.  My heart wasn't really in it, because the choke cherry jam I made two years ago is mostly still sitting in the basement, too sour for anyone to eat.
#3 and #4 found a huge choke cherry tree, absolutely loaded with choke cherries- it practically looked like grapes hanging off of it- and I didn't even take a picture.  It's right on the edge of our back yard.  I don't know how we missed it, except that maybe it hasn't fruited before now.  It's pretty funny, really, considering I've been marking these tiny little bushes all over the place, and here was this gold mine right behind my house.

So I picked the cherries and left them sitting in the fridge.  It was hot and dry, there was work to be done.  So they sat.  And sat and sat and sat.  Waiting for a rainy day.

It finally arrived.  And, amazingly enough, the cherries were still good!

I cooked them for about 15 minutes, with a bit of water to avoid scorching, and then mashed them some.  I left them sit in a strainer to drip over night.

The next day I boiled the juice, 2 cups, with one package powdered pectin, and 5 cups of sugar.

The result was 4 half pints of choke cherry syrop.  I know, the title says jelly, but if I'm being honest here, it's really more of a syrop.  Way too sweet.

The first batch, 2 years ago, I mashed like crazy, and got a lot of pulp into it, making for a very sour jam.  This year I held back, and have just juice.  Next time I'll try for a happy medium.  Live and learn.

1 comment:

  1. yep - live and learn. and share in order to teach others. thank you.

    so when you are shipping me the beets could you throw in a jar or two of the syrop - bahahahah!