Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bings with a BANG!

I ran across this awesome-looking cherry jam recipe....say it with me now...on Pinterest. And I finally got around to making it today. I started with about four pounds of fresh, sweet Bing cherries, a FAAAABULOUS new cherry pitter from OXO, and ended up with eight half-pint jelly jars of zesty preserves. I don't think it's the sort of thing I'd want on toast, but I am VERY keen to try it on a pork tenderloin!

Bing Cherry Chipotle Balsamic Preserves
(Source: adapted from Jules Food)

8 cups pitted bing cherries, roughly chopped
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped or shredded
6 cups sugar
2 chipotle peppers, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons adobo from the can of chipotles
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook cherries, lemon zest and juice, and apple until softened, about 20 minutes. Stir the sugar into the cherry mixture and cook over moderate to high heat.  Watch and stir fruit often so as not to burn the bottom. Once the liquid begins to slightly thicken, add the minced chipotle, adobo, balsamic, and black pepper. Stir and continue cooking.  When mixture reaches 220 F degrees (the bubbles will get big and pop more slowly), do a frozen plate test. If it wrinkles, you're done. If not, keep cooking.

*Caramelized jam is not good eats, and I have learned the hard way that that point happens somewhere around the 40-45 minute mark of cooking. So be careful. Test early and often. That being said, do not expect this preserve to set up like Jell-O as it might if you used commercial pectin. It's going to be looser, more tender than that. This is old school jam-making we're doing here!

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