The final two jams that we made last week were Peach Butter (recipe found HERE) and this Sour Cherry Vanilla Jam. The vanilla flavor was not as pronounced as in the Peach Vanilla Jam, but the jam was still really good. Slightly tart from the sour cherries and nice and thick. To get more of the vanilla flavor next time, I am going to soak the chopped cherries with the sugar and vanilla bean overnight before cooking the jam.
5 cups chopped pitted sour cherries (about 3 lb)
1 cup cherry juice or water**
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 tsp powdered stevia
1 vanilla bean
1 box low-sugar pectin
Mix cherries, juice or water, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and stevia in a large bowl or saucepan. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise and using the tip of a knife, scrape the seeds into the cherry mixture. Stir vanilla bean pod into the cherries. Let sit for 2-3 hours to overnight (strengthens the vanilla flavor in the jam).
Mix pectin with 1/4 cup sugar. Stir into cherry mixture. Bring to a hard boil (boiling doesn’t stop when stirred) over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove vanilla bean.
Ladle into jars, leaving 1/8” headspace. Wipe rims of jars. Place lids on jars.
Place jars in a boiling bath canner or steam canner. Return water to a gentle boil. Process 10 minutes. Cool on a towel on kitchen counter for 24 hours. Check seal.
Yield: 6 half-pint jars
**NOTE: The cherries I used were from a 10 lb bucket of pre-pitted sour cherries. I added 1 cup of the juice from the bottom of the bucket to the jam. If you are pitting your own cherries, you may not need to add this much additional liquid.