cherries jubilee is a yummy & simple dessert made with cherries & a special ingredient called kirsch(wasser). because it’s flambéed, there is all sorts of panache to this dish, & it the cooking process also kind of makes it a one-trick pony (albeit a tasty one!). so for you i’ve prepared a similar cherry jam, which you can of course use a delicious topping to vanilla ice cream just as you would the cherries jubilee, but for so many other applications as well. clean out an old jam jar or any small jar, & put your apron on because this one can get messy!
with the help of david lebovitz
makes 1 good jam-jar
1-1.5 lb cherries (dark bing cherries to bright red sour cherries all work for this one!… i used sour)
2 fresh lemons
lots of sugar
first you need to pit your cherries. while you can buy a cherry pitter, you can avoid this unitasker by using a small, long object to poke out each pit by hand. i used a chop-stick & it worked quite well! (i overheard old wives at the market discussing how they use safety pins to do this…). get out two big bowls, one for pits & one for your pitted cherries, turn on the television & take a seat (this takes a while) to begin popping out the pits one by one. don’t worry if your cherry loses its shape or gets mushy in the process, you’ll be boiling them down later. when you have all the cherries pitted, start cooking them up in a large stainless-steel stockpot (the pot MUST be non-reactive). once things get nice & hot, zest 1 of the lemons & juice both, then add the juice/zest, which will provide the pectin needed for gelling as well as the acidity for the jam. cook this mixture, stirring occasionally, until the cherries are super soft & mushy, about 15-20minutes. at this point you’ll want to add the sugar. to determine how much sugar is appropriate for your batch of jam, measure out the contents of the pot, & stir in 3/4 that amount in sugar (if you have 4 cups jam mixture, add 3 cups sugar, etc). keep stirring on medium-high heat until your mixture thickens. a great trick i learned from mr. lebovitz is to do the cold-plate test. before you stir in your sugar, put a small salad plate in the freezer. as your stir your hot mixture & feel it might be thick enough, take the cold plate out & spoon a small amount of your jam on to it. let it sit for a minute, then nudge it with your finger. if it wrinkles, you’re all set! if not, put the plate back in the freezer, keep simmering your jam, then try again in a few minutes. when you’re done, mix in some kirsch if you’d like a more complex flavour (though its not required for delicious jam!) & enjoy over iced cream, on top of toasts, on a ham sandwich, or any other way you’d use a lovely jam spread. store it up to 2 months in the refrigerator.