Brown sugar-bourbon sour cherry jam

When I saw sour cherries at the farmers’ market last weekend, I knew I had to have some. I grabbed two pints of cherries, which gave me just over four cups of cherries once pitted. Ultimately, this is a jam of my own creation, but it is┬ábased on one of Marisa McClellan’s recipes. I often check out other recipes for the basics, like proportions, and then make flavor adjustments on my own that don’t affect the acidity of the final product, which is exactly what happened here. I’m quite happy with the final product!

IMG_8803Brown sugar-bourbon sour cherry jam

  • 2 pints of sour cherries, stems and pits removed
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon (I like Buffalo Trace)

Mix the cherries and sugar in a medium bowl. Stir, and place in the fridge for half an hour to a few hours so the cherries can release their juices.

If you plan on canning the jam, first get your water bath canner set up and start it heating up. I got three 4 oz. jars out of this recipe with a tiny bit left over.IMG_8814

Pour the cherries and sugar mixture into a low, wide pan and turn the heat up to high. Once the mixture comes to a boil, allow it to bubble until it starts to thicken, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in the bourbon and boil for another five minutes. You’ll know the jam is done when it doesn’t immediately rush to fill in the space left when you drag a spoon through it.

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Funnel jam into jars, cap, and process in the water bath for 10 minutes.

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Popsicles!

It’s summer and it’s hot here in New York. One of my favorite summer foods are popsicles, but a lot of them are too sweet for me. Instead, I thought I’d try making my own this year. First, I bought myself some popsicle molds, though you could probably make them with paper cups and popsicle sticks. I used strawberries and peaches, one of my favorite fruit combinations, but I’m sure they could be switched out per your preferences.

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Strawberry Peach Popsicles

  • 2 pints strawberries
  • 3 peaches
  • 1/4-1/3 cup honey

Core the strawberries, chop, and place in a medium bowl. Peel and pit the peaches, chop, and add to the bowl. Add the honey and mix. Place the bowl in your fridge for several hours or overnight to macerate (allow the fruit to release juice).

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Once the fruit has had a chance to release dump it in a blender and blend until it looks like a smoothie. Feel free to leave some of the fruit in chunks!

At this point, you can pour the fruit mixture into the popsicle moulds or, if you have the time, let it sit for an hour or two. I chose not to let it settle and ended up with popsicles that were a bit icier than they had to be. They still tasted great, though.

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Once you’ve poured your popsicles, set them in the freezer and give them a few hours to set, ideally overnight.

Any extra fruit mixture can either be drunk as a smoothie, or saved to make more popsicles as you eat them.