Today has been an almost overwhelmingly cherry filled day. It started with cherry clafoutis for breakfast; a rather decadent start to the day but how perfect can that be for someone who loves egg custard. Next on the cherry list were cherry and coconut cakes, and I decided that it would be a good idea to make two cakes - one for today and one for the freezer. Both the clafoutis and the cakes used up the cherries prepared yesterday.
The next (and rather daunting) task was to make cherry jam. But I daunted without cause because it went like a dream. I followed a simple recipe of de-stoning 1.8kg cherries (whilst listening to Harry Potter), then simmering them slowly in the juice of 2 lemons until they were tender but not squishy. Followed by bunging a 1kg bag of jam sugar (sugar with pectin) into the pan and stirring until dissolved. Then it was just a case of bringing to the boil, leaving for about 10 mins and then checking the temperature. I went for a full belt and braces approach to check the setting point as I used the mechanical thermometer, and when that looked the right temperature (around 104C), the electronic thermometer to confirm the result and then did a wrinkle test by putting a little jam onto a cold saucer, leaving it to cool for a minute and then pushing the jam with a finger. Whilst waiting for the jam to boil, I had my clean jam jars in the oven to sterilise and the lids in some boiling water. In no time at all I had filled 4 big jam jars. I probably should have let it cool a little before bottling because all the cherries have floated to the top, but I'm not going to worry about that. I'm really hoping that it will cool enough for tea so that we can have a cherrylicious afternoon tea with homemade sourdough bread, cherry jam and cherry cake. I shall be able to wear my domestic goddess pants with pride.