It's Better to Travel than Arrive?

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"

Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881.

"Robert Louis Stevenson speaks utter tosh and has

obviously never flown long haul economy class"

Kristy, first ever blog post, 2011.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Recipe - Cherry Preserves

  • 1kg of cherries = €5
  • 1 cherry stone remover = €8
  • 3 cute little preserving jars = €9
  • Sugar = €1
  • Required spices = €1
  • Cost per finished home made little jar of preserved cherries = €8
  • Cost of much bigger jar of already made preserved cherries from the supermarket = €2
  • Feeling of satisfaction of making my own = priceless
  • Chance of me ever doing it again = MY INTERNET IS WORKING AGAIN, so, minimal at best

I’d never made preserves before, let’s be honest, they’re not terribly pricy at the supermarket.  But all of a sudden I had time on my hands and thought I’d give it a shot.  “How did you have so much time on your hands?” I can hear you ask.  Well, let me just say, quietly, MY INTERNET STOPPED WORKING AND MAKING PRESERVES STOPPED ME GOING INSANE.  Now you know.  Oh, and my house got really clean.  And I started going a little wiggy.  And the dog got walked.  A lot.  And I started “bored eating”, so that hasn’t helped with the weight loss plan …

Anyway, the preserved cherries were actually quite yummy over icecream, so if you ever have a glut of cherries and want to give it a shot, here’s the recipe.  My notes in italics.

  • 1.5 cups caster sugar
  • half a lemon (I only had limes and used a whole one)
  • 3 star anise
  • 6 whole cloves (didn’t have any, didn’t use any)
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 1kg cherries, stalks removed (It didn’t say to remove the stones, but who wants to crunch down on one of those during a delicious mouthful?  I stoned all mine and managed to spray cherry juice across most of the surfaces in my kitchen – but that’s okay, MY INTERNET WASN’T WORKING (sigh) so I had time to clean it all up)

  1. Firstly, let me just say that I know this looks like it’s really complicated, but it’s honestly not.  It’s incredibly simple, just has lots of steps.  You can do it!
  2. Combine 1 2/3 (that’s one and two thirds, don’t know how to do that symbol) cups of water, sugar, lemon, star anise, cloves and cinnamon quills in a saucepan over a medium heat.
  3. Stir until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to the boil.
  4. Simmer for 15 minutes or until mixture is reduced by a third and has become slightly syrupy.
  5. Remove from heat and leave to cool for one hour (I got bored waiting for it to cool and used it after 40 minutes – REBEL!)
  6. Pack as many cherries as possible into a 1 litre screw top jar (I had three little CUTE preserving jars and a jar I found in a cupboard – ran them all through the dishwasher to make sure they were sterilized).
  7. Pour the cooled syrup over the cherries, making sure all the fruit is covered.
  8. Carefully screw on the lid very tightly.
  9. Place a folded tea towel on the bottom of a deep saucepan to prevent the glass jar coming into direct contact with the base of the pot.
  10. Place the jar (or jars) on top of the tea towel (if you’re using smaller jars like me, make sure they’re not touching each other).
  11. Pour cold water into the saucepan to cover the jar (or jars).
  12. Place the saucepan over a medium-low heat.
  13. Bring the water to a simmer, just below boiling point at 92c, so that the faintest ripple appears on the surface of the water.  (I don’t have a thermometer (surprise!), so I just kept the heat on until the water was “wobbly” on top, but not “bubbling”.  Technical terms, people, technical terms.).
  14. Cook the jar (or jars) for 70 minutes before switching off the heat and letting the jar cool completely in the water.  Removing the jar (or jars) whilst still hot may result in it cracking.  (I made mine in the evening, so took the jars out of the water in the morning).
  15. Store your preserved cherries in a cool, dark cupboard; the fruit should keep for at least a year.  (Or you could just eat them!).

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