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Black cherry preserves

Margaret Pilgrim

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After Friday night's dinner guests ravaged my last jar of black cherry preserves lovingly brought home from Pays Basques, I bought several pounds of ripe Bing cherries, our local variety, at an orchard stand yesterday. I plan to put up several jars, following normal preserving methods.

Are there any trucs I should mind?

(FWIW, this preserve is heavenly with ewe and goat cheeses such as Manchego or Petit Basque, also cow's milk cheeses, like comte.)

Edited by Margaret Pilgrim (log)

eGullet member #80.

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Yes now the cherries are starting to look good for putting up. It's a nice idea, Margaret. I haven't been noticing many black cherries about yet, but soon we'll have so many different kinds... Lots of yummy berries for jam starting to come out in any case. I was thinking also about putting up griottes and also soaked in alcools - I think your sugar content Margaret is going to depend on what kind of cherries you use. Has anyone ever tried Confisuc? I have never tried it, but some people swear by it.

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Confisuc is sugar with pectin added; in Margaret's case (I'm keeping in mind that she serves the preserve with cheese), it would be perfect because it makes the cooking time very short and the setting easy. So if the texture and fruit taste are important, and if the preserve needs not be very sugary, pectin is great.

I have noticed that Confisuc (or Vitpris, which is pectin without sugar) is less interesting when you prefer a more syrupy jam, with a slightly caramelized taste. The use of pectin keeps the preserve a bit on the acidic side, which is good for serving with cheese.

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