8 c pitted sour cherries
1 c kirsch cherry brandy
4 c sugar
1 c water
1/4 c lemon juice
Masserate cherries, kirsch and 1 cup of sugar overnight in the refrigerator.
The next day, sterilize 9 half pint jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Set aside on a rack, along with their lids. Do not sterilize the lids, just wash them in hot soapy water and rinse. New BPA-free lids should not be pre-boiled. Keep the water on low while you make the jam.
In a heavy, non-reactive pot, put the cherry mixture, water, lemon juice and remaining 3 cups of sugar. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. On medium to medium high heat, stirring regularly, boil the cherry mixture down. Have handy a small plate. When the mixture starts looking syrupy, test it’s jelling properties by putting a teaspoon of jam on the plate then setting it in the freezer for a minute. Pull the plate out and run your finger through the center of the jam. If your finger leaves a permanent path, then the jam is ready to jar. If the liquid fills in the path, boil it down some more. It’s a very forgiving process, so go with it!
Once the jam sets, pour into sterilized jars. Wipe the rims with a towel dipped in hot water, then top with the canning lids. Lower the jars into your simmering water, making sure there’s at least an inch of water above the jars. Bring the water to a boil, and process the jam for 5 minutes. Remove to a clean dry towel or a rack. Cool completely. Check that the lids are depressed, and store in a cool dark place. If any lids did not seal, store those jars in the refrigerator.
Stores for up to a year. Makes 8-9 half pints.