I have been reading a lot about food preservation lately, (one of my new favorite blogs to read is Food in Jars), and after reading about combining black pepper with cherry jam on The Kitchn, I decided to try my hand at small batch canning with a peppery orange blossom cherry jam. It came out wonderfully pleasant, not too sweet and not too peppery, but with just enough kick that it resonates in your mouth for a few seconds after the bite. The floral hint of the orange blossom water helps to pacify the pepper too, and you can always substitute rose water since orange blossom water is difficult to find outside of Middle Eastern marketplaces. Makes about 24 ounces of jam.
Also, last week I held a giveaway for a sleek new set of grilling tools from BigKitchen.com. The winner of the giveaway is none other than....
3 Cups Cherries, pitted and chopped
2 and 1/2 Cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Honey
1/4 Cup Black Cherry Juice
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Packet Pectin (powdered)
Canning Jars, sterilized
Heat all the ingredients except the sugar and black pepper in a medium pot over low heat, stirring every couple minutes.
Once the mixture comes to a strong boil that does not cease when stirring, add the sugar and the black pepper and stir until fully incorporated. Allow the mixture to boil for three more minutes, then pour the jam into the canning jars and seal them tight with their lids.