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Cherry Pie Jam

Use Cherry Pie cherries. These are generally a bright red cherry that is very tart. It is usually easier to find these because birds do not like them as well.

Wash and sort the fruit so that you only get the good stuff ( no twigs or spiders ) and then put it into a blender. I prefer a blender that has a pulse setting. I pop it once or twice and it removed the flesh from the pit. Don't run the blend for very long because you do not want to start breaking or grinding the pits.

I start with about 10 cups of munched cherries ( pits included ) Put it on the stove and start heating. If you are impatient you can start removing the pits while you stir with a slotted spoon. As it heats I had about 3 to 4 cups of

sugar. Using plastic spoons ( so as not to spit in my jam ) I keep adding sugar until the taste is just right. I then Sure-jel light pectin until it will set up. Here is the big secret....Just before canning I put in 1 tablespoon of vanilla for each 3 cups of jam. For a normal batch about 4 tablespoons. This really mellows out the flavor and gives it that cherry pie taste. Don't worry if the vanilla seems to be a little strong-- the taste fades a bit when the jam cools. Quickly run the jam through a Foley food mill to remove the pits and can. BWB for 10 minutes.

This has a beautiful cherry red color and goes great in sandwiches and on top of ice cream.

Bruce Carpenter