When life gives you cherries, make cherry jam. Yellow cherries are perfect for jam making because they keep firmer. Top your French toast, pancakes or crepes with cherry jam. It will become a staple at breakfast.
Although sour cherry jam is more popular in Turkey, I think yellow cherries are way better to make a jam. They keep their shape much better even after they are cooked.
Do you love cherries as much as I do? I really don’t know how to describe my feelings when I see a tree full of cherries. Whenever I see such a tree, I realize how beautiful life is. This may sound nonsense, but I don’t have the same feeling for other fruit trees. It makes me so happy to see those little red things between green leaves on a tree. I suppose that this makes the tree happy as well. It looks like a bride in reds. Have I told before that red is the color of brides and newly married women in our culture? I think I love seeing cherry trees much more than eating cherries.
I would witness how cherry trees blossommed and then fruited as a child when we visited my grandma. There were immense cherry yards in the village she was living and I remember watching these yards with a great admiration. It is such a village that nobody has to get permission to get into someone’s yard and to taste some cherries, so we would enter one, taste some and then enter another to taste a different species of cherry. Grandma also had a cherry tree in her backyard where we (my cousins and I) enjoyed a lot. We would climb on the tree, which was my favorite method to taste fruits, and would chat there eating cherries. The funniest thing I remember is that we, as girls, would make ear rings from cherries by hanging them on our ears. We would love to feel swingings of cherries on our ears when we shake our heads. Would you do the same thing when you were children?
Besides their wonderful taste and beauty, it is known that cherries also have healing effects. It is known that they are more effective as painkillers than an aspirin. So if you have bad headache, please try eating cherries before taking any other painkillers. No need to mention that they are great antioxidants. Heavy smokers should eat cherries to get rid of the nicotine in their body. It also strengthens our immune system and our body against many cancer types. Grandma would also say that cherry stalk has many herbal effects,too. She would make tea boiling cherry stalks in water for about 10 minutes. She would say that this helped kidneys work well and cured joint calcification. I learnt one more thing from her that cherry stones keep heat for a long time, so she never wasted these stones. She would fill a heatproof bag with dried cherry stones and heat it in oven. She put this heated bag under my feet whenever I had stomachache. I’m always in favor of trying herbal healing before any medicine just like grandma as I believe that nature has all remedies if used right.
Cherries are mostly in various tones of red, but we have a unique species of cherries in Turkey, yellow cherries. They are so rare in our country that it is grown in few regions. I don’t know if it’s grown in other countries. It has a very limited season here, so if you see it at the market, you shouldn’t miss that chance. Yellow cherries are sweeter in taste, that may be the reason why people prefer mostly these to make jam. They make jam either from yellow cherries or sour cherries.
At the open market last week I had that chance and I bought 2 kilos of yellow cherries to make some jam. Unfortunately I didn’t think how I would pit them. In the evening, when I prepared the necessary cups in the kitchen and grabbed one cherry, I realized it wouldn’t be so easy to pit them. I wanted them remain as they were, but how? Believe or not, I spent great effort on scooping their stones. After some time, getting tired, I gave up and just cut them in half and easily removed the stones. I called mom in the morning and told my cherry adventure. She laughed at me and asked why I didn’t buy a cherry pitter. A cherry pitter? What was that, I’ve never heard such a thing! Gosh why didn’t I talk to mom a day before? Then she told me if I didn’t have that tool, I could use a paper clip as a hook to remove cherry stones. She claims it works perfect. It was too late for me! Oh wait! I’m planning to making jam from sour cherry as well when its season comes, I can try either of these methods then. If you know any other ways to pit cherries, I’d be glad to hear.
Yellow Cherry Jam
- 2 kilos yellow cherries
- 1 and 1/2 kilo sugar
- 1/2 lemon, squeezed
- Wash the cherries, remove their stalks and stones. Put the cherries in a large pot. Then pour sugar on them and wait 5 hours. You can do this overnight. At the end of this time, you’ll see that all sugar is dissolved and cherries release their water. That’s why we don’t need to add extra water.
- Put the pot on low heat and boil it until it gets thick enough. Remove its scum occasionally. To understand if it has the right thickness, drop very little jam on a plate, turn it upside down. If the jam doesn’t run down easily, if it’s a bit sticky, that means it’s done. Add lemon juice, boil it another 5 minutes and take it from fire. do not boil it more after adding lemon juice. Otherwise, your jam gets too dark in color.
- If your cherries are too soft, then after it boils for about 10 minutes, take the cherries from the sherbet with a strainer and keep boiling the sherbet until it reaches the right consistency. ıf you boil the cherries with its sherbet for the whole time, cherries will be overcooked and all mashed. Then add the cherries and boil them for a few minutes more. And add lemon juice. Let it cool.
- If you have a balcony or a garden, wait your jam under sun. This helps its consistency, so don’t worry if your jam is not thick enough after boiling, just wait it under sun for a few days. Do not forget to cover it with a veil to protect it from any insects. Then you can put it in jars and keep it in a place without sunlight.
See our other recipe videos here: