July 18, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Jam

I bought some cherries when they were on sale last week. Ive been nibbling them on and off. But somehow I never finish a bag and I hated to waste them. My bf doesn't like cherries. I finally got around to pitting them tho and wasn't sure what to do with them. I was going to just freeze them and maybe use them for jam later on. But then I remembered seeing a chocolate/cherry type jam somewhere online. I couldn't find it so I decided to make my own with what I had. I was completely out of pectin tho  and wasn't going to the store just for that. Jam doesn't need pectin of course but I like to use low/no sugar pectin because I try to reduce the amt. of sugar I eat. I often have it with my yogurt in the mornings.

But jam can just have sugar and be cooked down till thickened, that's the old fashioned way. Cherries are low acid fruit too so I knew I needed to add lemon juice. And I had cocoa powder here so I figured I had all I needed to make this. I got 3 half pts from this amt. I decided to can small jars since I'm the only one that would eat it. And I thought this would be heavenly on ice cream. I was right. I left the cherries whole which I love but next time I make this I think Ill chop them up just a bit. This way they would be spread more evenly thru the rest of it. But I really liked this and may make more just to keep on hand throughout the yr.

Chocolate Cherry Jam  Made 3 half pts.

2 1/2 c. pitted cherries
2 tb. lemon juice
1 3/4c. sugar
1/4c. Ghiardelli cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla

 I first pitted the cherries. I have a cherry pitter but it squirts juice and makes a mess so I tried a new way that I saw online. It works great. You get a narrow necked bottle like a beer bottle, one small enough that the cherry wont fall in and a chopstick. Put the cherry on top of the open empty bottle and stick the chopstick thru it. It should push the pit right out and into the bottle. (how cool is that, all the pits contained so you can just toss it out). It goes pretty fast and makes minimal mess.

 Put the cherries and lemon juice into a pot and bring to a boil. Add the sugar and cook for about 20min. It should start to be getting thick. 

 Once it starts to get thick, add the cocoa powder and stir well to dissolve in the mix. Let cook another 10-15min. till as thick as you would like. Remember it will get thicker as it cools. Stir in the vanilla. 

Pour into jars and water bath, 10min. 

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