I can't believe it's already the end of September. That means it's time to start thinking about Christmas and homemade gifts!
Last weekend the weather was cooler so I figured it would be a great time to start canning items for Christmas. I started with this cherry amaretto jam that is a fabulous hostess gift for all those holiday parties. I like to give this jam with a loaf of crusty bread all wrapped up in a festive dish towel and tied with a holiday ribbon. Another idea is to give the jam with a bottle of amaretto to enjoy after the party guests have left.
The smell of this jam while it was cooking was amazing. There was the sweet and tartness of the cherries mingling with fragrant almonds. I spooned a little bit out of the pan to try and ended up eating several spoonfuls before the jam made it into the jars. This jam goes wonderfully with bread, crackers, or even in thumbprint cookies. Put a fabric square over the lid and place a colorful label on it to give as a gift at Christmas time.
2 (16 oz) bags frozen sweet cherries, thawed and drained
6 T. classic pectin
¾ c. amaretto liqueur
3 T. lemon juice
4 ½ c. sugar
1. Prepare your canner and 7 half pint jars.
2. Finely chop the cherries.
3. Combine the cherries, pectin, amaretto, and lemon juice in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
4. Add the sugar and stir well until it has dissolved. Return to a rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
5. Skim the foam from the jam and ladle the hot jam into the hot jars leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove any air bubble from the jars and readjust the headspace.
6. Put on the 2 piece lid and screw to finger tip tight. Heat in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes with the lid on. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove from the water and let cool for 12 hours then check to make sure the lids have sealed. Store for up to 1 year.
**Makes 7 half pints**