Tag Archives: cherries

Sweet Cherry Lemon Jam

Sweet Cherry Lemon Jam

 

The bounty of summer just keeps on coming.  Last week, it was the 7 pounds of cherries Marc and the small Things picked at our favorite U-pick place.  The girls and I really love cherries.  The day that I go into the supermarket and see bags of cherries for $3.99 a pound I get very excited.  I usually manage to eat a two pound bag all by myself over the course of a couple of days. 

Cherries!

 

You can imagine how thrilling it was to see a huge mound of bright red cherries (with a few Rainier cherries thrown in).  After three days of eating cherries for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacking on them throughout the day, I decided that I needed to actually make something.  I thought about making this again, but ultimately decided that I wanted to go the jam route.  I feel that store-bought cherry jam is never that good.  I wanted something with deep cherry flavor but also a jam that was bright and full of spark. 

Simmering cherries and lemon

 

I knew that I didn’t want to go the full canning route.  I wanted a small quantity that we could eat in a few weeks (and I didn’t feel like spending two days pitting cherries).  So I went looking for some inspiration and found this and this.  I cut the proportions but upped the lemon zest.  After cooking the fresh cherries down, I ended up with a thick, rich jam that is full of cherry-lemony flavor.  If you can get your hands on some fresh cherries, definitely try this delicious jam. 

The right jam consistency

 

Sweet Cherry Lemon Jam 

Adapted from The Hungry Mouse and David Lebovitz 

Ingredients: 

1 lb sweet cherries, pitted and stemmed 

1/2-3/4 cup of sugar (use as much as you need, depending on the sweetness of your cherries) 

1 lemon 

To Make: 

Start by zesting the lemon into a heavy-bottomed, medium saucepan.  Cut the lemon in half and juice each half into the saucepan.  Next, pit the cherries.  I don’t have a cherry pitter so I cut each cherry in half and pull the pits out.  Put half the cherries (either whole or cut in half) into the pan and toss with the lemon juice to prevent browning.  Roughly chop the remaining cherries and add them to the pan. 

Place the pan over medium-high heat and let it sit until the juices start to simmer.  Turn the heat down to low and loosely cover the pot.  Let the cherries simmer until they are soft and starting to fall apart, about 15-25 minutes (stir occasionally and be careful not to let it boil over).  Add the sugar and stir until combined.  Raise the heat and let the mixture simmer until the jam thickens (anywhere from 5-20 minutes, depending on how watery your cherries are).  To test if the jam is done , place a small dollop on a ceramic plate.  Put the plate in the freezer for a few minutes until the jam is cold.  Take it out and give it a little nudge with your finger.  If the jam wrinkles and forms a skin, it is ready.  It should coat the back of a metal spoon. 

Once the jam is done, take it off the heat and let it cool to room temperature (it will continue to thicken).  Once it is cool, place in a small, covered bowl and refrigerate. 

To Serve: 

Makes about 1 cup.  Jam will keep for a few weeks in the fridge.  Use it to spread on toast, top ice cream, make a glaze for grilled chicken / pork.  Or just eat it with a spoon.  It is that good.

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Cherry Almond Galette

Cherry Almond Galette

After a brief hiatus, we are back with yet another recipe for something sweet… and something tart… and something rich.  All in one.  The beginnings of this recipe were conceived when Marc brought home two very random ingredients, a jar of Morello cherries and a tube of almond paste.  These two things sat in our pantry for over two months as we contemplate how to use them.

Cutting in the butter

Then one day I found this recipe for a fig tart, and then this one for a pear and cherry tart.  The wheels started to turn and we starting thinking about making some type of cherry and almond tart.  However, that idea was soon shelved because we a) don’t have a good recipe for a tart crust and b) we don’t own a tart pan. 

Ready to assemble

Then Marc had a brainstorm… we could make the go-to sour cream pastry dough that we have used with great success for previous galettes.  We decided to spread the dough with the almond paste mixed with a little flour, sugar, butter, and eggs.  We topped the almond mixture with the drained cherries, folded the dough over and baked it until the dough was browned, the almond mixture was puffed, and the cherries were bubbling.

Galette ready to bake

This galette is a mix of sweet and sour, rich and fruity.  The almond paste is sweet, the cherries are tart and fruity, the pastry is rich and buttery.  Together, they make for a complex dessert that is sure to impress your guests.  Make sure to save the juice you drain from the cherries.  We reduced it until it was thick and syrupy and drizzled it over the finished galette.

Freshly baked

Cherry Almond Galette

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup frozen unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup sour cream

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup ice water

6 ounces almond paste

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp almond meal (you can substitute with all-purpose flour)

3 ounces butter (salted or unsalted) cubed at room temperature

1 large egg plus 1 egg white at room temperature

1 27.4 ounce jar Dark Morello Cherries in Light Syrup (Trader Joe’s sells these, if you can’t find them, you need about 12 ounces of sour cherries), drained with syrup reserved

2 tbls heavy cream

1 tbls granulated sugar

softly whipped heavy cream (optional)

To Make:

The Pastry

Put the flour and salt in a bowl.  Add the butter and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice, and water and add half of this mixture to the flour mixture.  With your finger tips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form.  Remove the lumps and repeat the process with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture.  Pat all the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To assemble

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Using a mixer, beat the almond paste, flour, and sugar until crumbly.  Gradually beat in the butter, until smooth, and then beat in the egg and the egg white. 

Lightly flour a pastry board or other work surface.  Roll out the dough into a rough circle about 12 inches in diameter and about 1/4 inch thick.  This does not need to be perfect, part of the charm of galettes is that they are rustic.

Spread the almond mixture on to the pastry, leaving a 2 inch border.  Place the drained cherries on the almond mixture.  Fold dough border over the cherries and almond mixture, pleating as necessary.  The center will be open.  Brush the exposed edges of the dough with the cream and sprinkle with the sugar.  Bake on a lightly greased baking sheet for 35-45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cherries are bubbly.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes.  Remove to a cutting board.

While the galette is cooking, pour the reserved cherry syrup into a small saucepan.  Set the heat to medium-high and boil until the liquid is reduced by 3/4 and is syrupy.  Watch it closely as it gets to the end as it can go from syrupy to burned pretty quickly.

To Serve: 

Cut the galette into wedges.  Serve topped with softly whipped cream and drizzled with the cherry syrup.  Serves 8.

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Filed under Baked goods, Dessert, Recipes