What you’ll need:
Two very large saucepans (if you have preserving pans, better)
2.7 kg (6 lb) cherries – washed
900ml (1.5 pints) water
2.7 kg (6lb) sugar
knob of butter (optional)
Put the plums and water in one of the pans and simmer gently for about 30 minutes – until the fruit is really soft and the contents of the pan are well reduced. Stir from time to time to prevent the fruit sticking to the bottom of the pan.
When the fruit is really soft, remove from the heat and leave to stand for a few moments. Pass the contents of the pan through the colander, to remove the stones from the plums, into the second pan. Add the sugar, stirring until it is all dissolved. Add the knob of butter (if you want). Return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.
Test for a set* and, when setting point is reached, take the pan off the heat and remove any scum with a slotted spoon. Leave to stand for 15 minutes before potting and covering.
Yield: 4.5 kg (10 lb)
* – How to test for a set: at the same time as you begin cooking the fruit, place three or four saucers in the freezing compartment of the fridge. When you have boiled the jam for the given time, remove the pan from the heat and place a teaspoonful of the jam on to one of the chilled saucers. Let it cool back in the fridge, then push it with your finger: if a crinkly skin has formed on the jam, then it has set. It if hasn’t, continue to boil for another 5 minutes, then do another test. – Thanks Delia!