Liven up your stash of homemade jams by including a few jars of Amaretto Cherry Jam. It has all the juicy, dark and sweet flavours of cherry jam along with a lively buzz of almond flavour from the Amaretto. This jam is great on toast for a breakfast treat but it also makes a wonderful & luxurious filling for sponge cakes too.
THIS POST HAS BEEN SPONSORED BY THERMAPEN. ALL OPINIONS AND TEXT ARE MY OWN.
Aside from being able to plunder a colourful and juicy fruit bowl every day, one of my biggest joys of summer is creating jar upon jar of homemade jams. Whatever gets stashed away is there for my family to dip into for the rest of the year, whether to top our morning toast or to pile into a homebaked cake.
The line-up in my store cupboard always includes high volumes of blackcurrant jam and cherry jam. These are our absolute family favourites. But it’s always wise to create variety, so I’ve squireled away a couple of jars of Amaretto Cherry Jam this summer.
I’m always keen to mingle flavours and, since cherries and almonds are such great friends – often ending up alongside each other in sweet bakes – I couldn’t resist trying out this popular combination in jam form. And, oh sweet joy, this Amaretto Cherry Jam is a winner. It is just as sweet, dark and juicy as my usual cherry jam, but with a splash of almond flavoured luxury added by the Amaretto liqueur.
When it comes to making jam I have plenty of recipes that yield large volumes, but I actually prefer making my jams and preserves in small batches. This is partly because I like variety, but I also find jam making in small batches a relatively simple and speedy process. I can use normal sized pans that fit well on my hob, which means it’s a breeze to get the jam to its setting point.
Before I discovered small batch recipes, jam making daunted me. But not anymore. If you’re new to it, making a small batch recipe is an ideal way to get started. All you need is:
- a medium-sized heavy-based pan
- the ingredients
- a food thermometer
- empty jars (sterilised)
The trick to all jam making is to ensure that the jam is heated to setting point (105 Celcius/ 221 Fahrenheit). Under-cooked jam will be very loose and runny and jam that has been cooked to a temperature well beyond the setting point will likely end up very firm and difficult to spread.
The easiest way to monitor the temperature of jam as it cooks is to use a thermometer. I use my Thermapen digital food thermometer – a British made probe thermometer that provides an accurate temperature reading in 3 seconds. It’s incredibly easy to use and enables me to keep a close eye on my jam temperature to ensure it reaches 105 Celcius (221F). I’ve owned my Thermapen for around 3 years and it’s one of my most used kitchen gadgets. It comes in handy when making caramel, testing if meat is cooked and to check that my homemade bread is baked sufficiently.
Once it’s ready, I like to slather spoonfuls of this Amaretto Cherry Jam onto mini brioche rolls for a weekend breakfast treat. The subtle flavour of the almond liqueur muddled with the robust flavour of the dark, sweet cherries adds a touch of decadence to the jam and my breakfast. I have imminent plans to pile it into a Victoria Sponge Cake with copious amounts of freshly whipped cream too. Or maybe I’ll pair it with chocolate cake. Decisions, decisions….
- 700 g/ 2 lb Stoned black cherries
- 400 g/ 2 cups White sugar (granulated or caster)
- 8 tsp Lemon juice
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract or paste
- 4 tsp Amaretto almond liqueur
- 1 tsp Butter (optional)
Prepare enough sterilised jars to hold 680g jam
Roughly cut the cherries and put into a medium-sized heavy-based pan with the sugar and lemon juice
Cook over a moderate heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved and the fruit has softened (10-15 minutes)
Optional step: briefly pulse the fruit with a stick blender a couple of times to break the fruit up slightly. Take care not to over process the fruit - the aim is to leave texture and lumps of fruit in the jam rather than reducing it to a puree
Add the Amaretto and the vanilla. Stir to combine
Return the pan to the hob and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the jam to bubble and boil, testing the temperature every few minutes with a food thermometer (I used my Thermapen) until the setting point of 105C/ 221F is reached. This will take around 10 minutes
Take the pan off the heat, stir in the butter (if using) and allow to cool for 10 minutes before decanting into sterilised jars
Seal the jars and let cool completely before labelling
Just before you go, I have a few more jam and conserve recipes you might be interested in. They’re all small batch: