Here’s a recipe for a no-sugar cherry jam with a mild kick to it. The recipe is perfect if you’ve only got a small batch (even a micro batch) of cherries and not much time. Basically all you need to make this treat is a punnet like you get at any supermarket or from any fruit and veg vendor. You want a big last-through-winter mess of the stuff? Do the math.
Last week I received four punnets of rare variety cherries from City catering specialists Lusso. Recently, Lusso partnered with National Fruit Collection at Brogdale in Kent to bring 3,500 varieties of forgotten fruit – apples, cherries, plums, gooseberries, currants, medlars, quinces, damsons, gages and cobnuts – out of the archive and into the workplace. From this month on through the summer growing season, Lusso clients will have a chance to try these gorgeous English grown produce marginalised by commercial growing.
Such an initiative is commendable … and delectable! I was impressed by how distinctly different each punnet was. The cherries I got to sample included a plump and juicy Vlachova (probably my favourite of the bunch); a dark and compact Venus; a firm and flavoursome New Star; and a tart Old English variety called May Duke. I’d savour any chance to sample more of their fruits or to arrange a visit to the NFC.
With little room in my fridge (I’m enjoying a food blogger’s bounty these days), I had more than could eat before they went off (but boy did I try!). So, I thought I’d have a go at making my own jam. I should mention that this recipe would be still in hmm phase if it wasn’t for a strong dose of inspiration from David Lebovitz’s No-Recipe Cherry Jam.
My recipe calls for no sugar and can be made from scratch in well under an hour with six easy to find ingredients. I used a mix of sweet Vlachova and tart May Dukes. I reckon the jam is worth making with just about any kind of cherries you come across. Depending on how sweet or sour your cherries are, you may want to adjust how much lemon, apple and honey you add to the jam.
CHIPOTLE CHERRY HONEY JAM
Ingredients for one
- 1 cup of cherries, pitted and stemmed;
- 1 peeled and finely diced apple;
- 2 small dry chipotle chillies;
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon;
- 6 tablespoons of clear honey;
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme.
- Place the pitted cherries and diced apple in a small pot placed on a hob – thoroughly mash together;
- Crack open 1 chipotle chilli and sprinkle all the seeds into the pot – mix well;
- Turn your hob on medium heat stirring the mixture every 30 seconds or so;
- Add the zest of your lemon to the pot – continue to mix regularly;
- Squeeze the lemon juice into the mixture – continue mixing;
- Add 6 tablespoons of honey to the mixture;
- Slightly turn the heat up on your hob – continue to mix at regular intervals;
- When the mixture starts to bubble begin mixing at a steady pace without stopping for 5 minutes;
- After the 5 minutes of stirring turn off your hob;
- Pour about half the mixture into a jar (any typical 340g to 370g jar should do) and then a sprig of thyme and a whole chipotle chilli;
- Pour in the rest of the mixture;
- Let cool, then lid and refrigerate – it should be ready to eat by the time it’s completely cooled.
Enjoy on a piece of buttered toast or as you normally would any jam. I like it mixed in with my porridge and as a condiment on a bacon or ham sandwich. I reckon the jam would make a nice pie filling as well. Be sure to warn folks not to eat that whole chilli that was added to the jam!
Read more tikichris recipes.
Lusso is the niche city and fine dining specialist business within the CH&Co catering group, delivering fine food to the employees of media, law, accountancy, insurance and banking firms both within the Square Mile and also in Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.
CH&Co is a leading independent catering group with six specialist brands: Charlton House (staff catering at B&I sites), Lusso (City and fine dining), Chester Boyd (livery halls and private venues), ITA (venues and events booking agency), Ampersand (public and event catering at iconic & private venues) and Via 360 (bespoke reception services). Current annual turnover stands at £97 million and the group employs almost 2,500 people nationwide.