I’ve done quit a bit of jammin’ this week and we’ll have four new flavors at the market on Saturday.
First up – Tart & Tangy Triple Sec Plum. I picked up roughly 3 lbs of gorgeous golden plums from Huffman Fruit Farm and asked my family – “How should I jam these?” Mike was pretty adamant about Triple Sec. “Come on Liz! Triple Sec is delicious!”
I left the skins on. I like that they’re sour and they add a nice textural element. (Whoa. “Textural element” – that sounds a little pretentious but it’s true nonetheless).
This jam is very tangy and tart and delicious.
Next up – Red Raspberry Jam. I picked up these berries from Huffman as well. I froze 3 or 4 lbs and then jammed the remaining 4lbs. I LOVE red raspberries. Everyone loves red raspberries. Some people complain about the seeds but I like them. This one is sweet and delicious and really just a classic red raspberry jam.
And finally two tart cherry flavors – Sour Cherry Jelly and Cherry Berry Jam.
You know how I say I only use local fruit for our jams and spreads and if I can’t get it within 30 miles I don’t jam it? Well, sometimes there is an exception. And that exception is tart cherries.
I order tart cherries that arrive pitted and packed in their own juice through Walnut Drive Gardens who in turn gets them from H & W Farms in Belding, MI. This year I ordered 40lbs of cherries – a 30 lb tub and a 10 lb tub.
Yipes on this warning label! So many cherries a baby could drown in them!
Why do I order these cherries? Two reasons: (1) Up until this year I could not find a pick-your-own place with tart cherries. And by the time I found them I had missed the season. Yes, we picked cherries at Monroe but those were sweet cherries and their tart cherries won’t be ready for picking for another year or two. And (2) Have you ever tried pitting 40 lbs of cherries? Seriously – that is a ton of work. I’d have to charge like $20/jar to account for the (wo)man hours involved.
So, yes. I use tart cherries that are grown farther than 30 miles from my house. But they’re delicious and in peak-season and I promise you loads of delicious tart cherry jams and spreads throughout the summer and fall.
I usually do a jelly first. I strain the cherries for the juice and the resulting Sour Cherry Jelly is really tasty. It’s one of my favorites of the season. It’s like smooth pie filling. Mmm!
After you have enough juice – just start jammin’ like usual sans the fruit chunks.
I ended this round of jammin’ with Cherry Berry Jam. This one was Mike’s idea. While I was working on the jelly and weighing and freezing cherries Mike picked some blackberries over near the corn crib.
They’re perfect – plump and bright black and super juicy and delicious. “Why don’t you make a jam with these and the cherries?” Ok!
I jammed 2 1/2 lbs of cherries and 1 lb of blackberries. Cherry Berry Jam is pretty darn good. Good call Mike!
Come see us this Saturday down on Franklin Street and check out the new jams. I’ll have plenty of samples.
And just a quick note – we will not be at the market on Saturday, August 3. Mike is turning the big 3-0 and Barton Farms and Gardens will be celebrating.
Wasn’t he just the cutest thing?