Thursday, January 26, 2017

Cherry Port Jam

Oh my goodness, this jam is so darn delicious. It can be used a multitude of ways from savory with cheese, sweet with dessert, or as an accompaniment with roasted or grilled pork, ham, lamb and poultry.

Pairing the sweet cherries with the Port wine was a match just meant to be, and the hint of ground cloves just put it over the top. After my first taste of this Cherry Port Jam, I knew I had a winner.

Port is a sweet, red, fortified wine from Portugal. Port is most commonly enjoyed as a dessert wine because it is rich and sweet. There are several styles of Port, including red, white, rosé and an aged style called Tawny Port. Port wine pairs wonderfully with richly flavored cheeses (including blue cheese and washed-rind cheeses), chocolate and caramel desserts, salted and smoked nuts, and even sweet-smoky meats.

I used Benjamin Tawny Port, a product of Australia, which is a tawny port that's described as a nutty wine with brilliant fruit, made in a lighter tawny style. The wine, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Muscat, has a medium finish with a touch of dark plum at the end.

4 cups chopped, pitted cherries
1 cup port wine
1 tsp. butter
1 tsp ground cloves
1 box Sure-Jell (powdered fruit pectin)
6 cups sugar

Place chopped and pitted cherries in a large sauce pan or pot. Add port wine, butter, Sure-Jell and cloves and heat over high heat, stirring often until mixture boils.

Add sugar all at once and return to a hard, rolling boil (one that doesn't stop when stirring). Boil hard for one minute, stirring continually. Remove from heat.

Ladle hot jam into prepared jars leaving 1/4-inch head-space. Cover with lids and rings and process 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Remove jars from water bath and let cool on a kitchen towel on your counter-top 24 hours undisturbed. Jars are sealed with button on the top of the lid is fully depressed and won't move.

Store in pantry up to one year. Any open jars need to be refrigerated.

Yield: 6- 8 oz jars


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