End-Of-Summer Cherry Jam

Every summer, as August hits, the cherries reach their best version of themselves. They are so deeply red, they’re purple. Their plumpness lends itself to bursts of juice with every bite. And, you start to wonder if there were a way to hold onto them a bit longer after the season passes. Here is the part where I tell you my life rule: when summer gives you cherries, make cherry jam.

End-of-Summer Cherry Jam
Modeled After This Recipe
Makes one 12-oz jar

1/4 cup water
1 1/2 lbs fresh cherries, pitted
juice of 2 limes
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

In a large saucepan on medium-high heat, add water first, then cherries, lime juice, vanilla, and salt. Stir the mixture every once in a while, letting it cook for about 20 minutes, until the cherries are softened. Then, gently mash the mixture–the cherries will release juices as you do so. Stir in sugar. Meanwhile, place a plate in the freezer (this will be used to help you know when the jam is done). The mixture will really bubble up, and you should let it. Stir intermittently, until the jam looks to have thickened, about 10 minutes. Note: it will still be liquid-y at this point, and it will continue to thicken as it cools. Remove the plate from the freezer and dollop a little bit on the plate, and place back in the freezer for a couple minutes. If the jam is done, the cold will cause the jam to seize and wrinkle when you run your finger through it. If not, cook a little longer. Transfer the jam to a jar and let cool completely at room temperature before refrigerating.

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