Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cherry & Vanilla Jam

I decided to make some cherry & vanilla jam last week, stupidly on a 38 degree day because I wanted to take some to my mum on christmas day. This jam is the best jam EVER! Jam is actually really easy to make (although I do panic a bit about sterilising jars) & I think it is one of those things that is really impressive if you make it yourself.

This is the recipe I based my jam on from Not Quite Nigella:


  • 1kg jar of pitted sour cherries, drained (I used the jars of morello cherries you buy at Aldi)
  • 1/2 cup of sour cherry juice from the above jar
  • 800g caster sugar (this freaked me out & given that the cherries I bought were slightly sweetened I only used about 380gm of sugar)
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • Juice, zest and 4-5 seeds of 1 lemon (you are supposed to wrap the zest and seeds in a muslin pouch but I d not have muslin pouches ever on hand so I just peeled off thick strips of the lemon peel & added this as it was easy to pull out later)
  • 50 gram packet of Jamsetta
1. First of all, decide whether you like your jam to have whole fruit, pulverised fruit or a bit of both and treat the cherries accordingly. I like whole fruit only so I don’t do anything to the cherries but if you like a smoother jam, blend cherries in a blender (you can cut them up although it will be messy). Place cherries, juice, sugar, lemon juice and muslin wrapped seeds in a large, heavy based saucepan. Slit vanilla bean in half horizontally and scrape the seeds with a knife and place seeds in the saucepan along with the rest of the bean. Cook on medium to high heat for 30 minutes until it has reduced by about a quarter.
2. Add the sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until mixture reduces by a quarter. Meanwhile place 4 clean glass jars (I only got 2 jars out of this recipe) and the lids on a tray in a 200C/400F oven and bake for 10 minutes to sterlise them.

3. Remove the pouch of seeds and stir in the Jamsetta. Place a small saucer in the freezer. After 5-10 minutes take it out of the freezer and place a teaspoonful of the liquid onto the plate. Count to 30 seconds and then run your finger through the centre. If there is wrinkling or the line stays then it will set properly. If not, wash plate and place back in freezer and repeat every 3 minutes until the line holds.

4. Carefully ladle the jam (it will be very hot) into the jars. With rubber gloves screw the lid tightly and turn upside down for 5 minutes to create a seal. I also like to use the rubber gloves as you can wash down the sides of the jar if you’ve spilt a bit during the ladling process.

It looks good in the jar & tastes good straight from the jar

It is very tasty on toast

And it makes good jam drop biscuits!


  1. It was delicious!!!! Please share the recipe.

  2. The jam biscuits were yum! Did you use a bread maker to make the jam?
    I'd love the recipe too!

  3. Added the recipe! Tahn I didn't use a breadmaker but I have used it for making jam in the past & it is super easy to use.

  4. It was indeed delicious. And lovely to meet you yesterday!

  5. Nice to meet you too Lisa! Kimba is completely adorable!!

  6. do'h now I wish I had had one of those bikkies yesterday - they did look good but were too far away

    re sterilising jars - I get worried about that too but I have just had some jam that i made a year ago and it was fine amazingly (I just don't eat that much jam!)