Summers are just different in the midwest. After a long winter, a short spring, summer is a welcome change. The markets are finally filled with something other than potatoes and storage apples. Sure I get excited for asparagus and peas but one of the truly special market arrivals are sour cherries. i have spent the past two saturdays spending a lazy afternoon of watching the Women’s World Cup (YAY USA!!!) while pitting a few quarts of sour cherries. Some of last week’s haul went into a delicious pie and I have a few bags tucked away in the freezer to save for a chilly fall or winter day but I was really the most excited by this sour cherry jam.
I have been enjoying this jam stirred into my morning breakfast of greek yogurt and raw oatmeal. If you are able to get your hands on some sour cherries, I hope that you will give this jam a try.
Sour Cherry Jam with Balsamic Vinegar
Recipe adapted from Melissa Clark
1 cup sugar
2 pints sour cherries, pitted
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Place a small plate in the freezer. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar with 1 cup of water. Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cherries and balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, while the cherries soften and release their juices. Feel free to mash the cherries up to help them along and break them up a bit. Continue cooking until the juices reduce by half and the mixture begins to thicken, 15 to 20 minutes. It could take as long as 30 minutes. Test to make sure the jam will set by dropping a small spoonful on the cold plate. If the jam forms a puddle that wrinkles when you push it with your finger, it is done. Transfer the jam to a sterilized jar and store in the fridge.
Sour Cherries previously: Coffee Cake