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Romanian Sour Cherry Liqueur
1kg of fruit, (e.g. Sour Cherries Morellos)
400g of sugar
about 500ml of alcohol. (Vodka, Grappa, or other spirit )
You put the sugar with the fruit first (I use a large glass jar), leave them at room temperature (for them that’s around 20C max) for about 1 week to 10 days, shaking the jar regularly to mix the sugar in.
The fruit should release a significant amount of juice.
Make sure the jar is able to breathe ( I put a cheese cloth over the top rather than lid for those first 10 days or so).
You then add the alcohol and put the lid on the jar.
Leave the jar in a cool, dark place for 2-3 months.
You can use all sorts of fruit for the same process, but you will need less sugar for sweeter fruit. Enjoy.
Thank you Maria from Romania, who gave the recipe to her daughter who came to pick the sour cherries January 2018.
Cherry Tea – Iran
Put 10-12 sour cherries (frozen or fresh) in a mug.
Pour on boiling water and let stand for 15-20 minutes
Stir with a fork to break up the cherries and release the deep red colour and flavour.
Optional add sugar , or pour through a strainer (but the cherry stones and skin stay at the bottom, so its not necessary to strain – just drink carefully).
Thank you to a sour cherry picker who passed on the recipe. January 2018
HELEN’S CHERRY JAM
5 kg sweet cherries (Lapin, Van, Bing) with the stones taken out
5 – 6 kg stemmed but whole sour cherries (Morello) – can be frozen.
Approx 7.5 kg white sugar
1 100 gm tub of Pectin (available at Gaganis ) 1 teaspoon for each KG of cherries or 5 – 7 packs Fowlers Jamsetta – approx. 1oz/pack) 1pack per kilo of sweet cherries
- large jam pan, or make in a smaller batch
- Cherry Stoner – Treat yourself to at least a hand stoner, but keep checking the stone is truly out.
- rubber gloves to save your fingernails going purple
- jam thermometer,
- large wooden spoon for stirring
- jam jars and lids, clean mug and dinner plate
Day 1 – about 2 hours to stone and prepare
- Sweet cherries: Take the stones out of the 5 kg of sweet cherries, and leave in large covered bowl overnight topped with 5 kg sugar.
- Sour cherries: Gently stew the sour cherries plus the extra stones from the pitted sweet cherries in the jam pan, approx. 40 mins to 1 hour, to bring out the liquid. You may need to put a little water in the bottom of the pan to make sure the cherries don’t burn, until their juice starts running out.
- Another trick is to freeze the sour cherries a day or two before. Defrost them for a few hours in the jam pan, enough juice will run out to make sure the cherries don’t burn. Then gently stew them as above.
- Leave standing overnight. Cover with a clean tea towel.
- Line the colander with a large piece of cheesecloth, and place a clean, dry bucket under the colander to catch the juice.Strain the sour cherries into the colander carefully and picking up the corners of the cheese cloth squeeze out as much juice and pulp as possible.
- Measure the juice.(will give approx. 2.75 l of juice). For each litre of juice add another kg of sugar to the juice.
- Measure Pectin: either 1 teaspoon of Gaganis pectin for each Kg of cherries or 1 pack Jamsetta for each 3 kg of total weight (eg will be about 15 kg jam, therefore 5 Jamsettas)
- Combine the sour cherry juice + measured sugar, with sweet cherries + measured sugar and pectin or jamsetta in the jam pan, and gently bring to the boil.
- Boil until it reaches jam/jellies temperature (106 degrees),stirring occasionally to check it does not catch on the bottom. (This could take up to an hour – be patient, read a book, write out your labels, do your Christmas cards, check the jam) Turn off when it gets to 106.
- Let jam stand for 15 minutes,skim off any bubbles, then bottle in sterilized jars and lids.
- Bottling – the aim is get your jam into sterile jars and covers while it is still warm (no lower than 75 degrees). Do that and it will last for years, with no mystery growths.
- While the jam is standing its time to sterilize and prepare your jars and lids. Wash and place jars in a large tray like a lasagne tin in the oven and heat to 110 degrees, for 5-10 minutes. Leave in warm oven until you are ready to fill with jam. Pull the whole tray of jars out and set up close to your jam pan.
- Pouring Jam. It can be messy. To reduce mess, use a clean mug to scoop up jam, hold a clean plate under the mug to carry over to the jam jars. The plate catches all the drips and jammy blobs that would otherwise run down the sides of the jars. You can re-cycle the plate drippings into a jar for immediate eating, rather than wasting them having to wipe them off the jars.
- If you are using metal lids, place them in a saucepan of water and bring to boil and leave standing in hot water for at least 5 minutes. Drain when your jars are full and ready to have their lids on. Many jam makers fill their jar with the hot jam, put the lid on tight, then tip the jar upside down for 2 minutes – this should also sterilise the lids as long as the jam is at 80 degrees or above. Just be careful you have the lid on properly or you will end up with a handful of hot jam and mess everywhere. I use both methods for sterilising lids.
- Wipe down the jars while they are still warm. If using metal lids, run enough hot water into the sink to reach 2/3 way up the jars. Put the jars in the sink and then give each one a good wipe with a frequently rinse cloth.
- If using cellophane lids just follow the manufacturer’s instructions – good luck with the rubber bands – mine usually shoot across to the other side of the kitchen.
- What about wax? – well if you are a fan of chiselling out the wax and picking white waxy chunks out of the jam and your teeth, go right ahead. It works, but why would you?
Will it set?
I don’t like to add more than 5 pack of jamsetta (pectin), because it makes the jam very tart, and I prefer the real cherry flavour even if it’s a bit runny, over stiff lumpy jam.
What fixes runny jam?
- Cooking – it still makes a great cherry tart or glaze on other fruit flans
- Re-boiling with more jamsetta, if you must – read the instructions. But I’m with Jack Reacher on this one – Never go back.
- Re-badging it as cherry sauce
- Hunger – the flavour is just as good
Helen Lindon 2014
RAZMI’S CHERRY RELISH
5kg cherries (Bing, Lapin, Van or even better, sour cherries)
2kg sugar – add to taste
2 apple size brown onions or equivalent weight shallots
Up to ½ cup Wine vinegar (optional – the more sour cherries you use, the less vinegar you need – be guided by your taste buds.)
- Thumbsize piece of fresh ginger
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2-3 fresh chillies – (optional ) Take off stems and take out seeds
- 2 Star anise
- 10 – 20 whole cloves
2 desert spoons canola oil
2 desert spoons cornflour (gluten free if you want a gluten free relish)
- Stone cherries and leave in bowl, don’t throw out any of the juice that starts to run out. This can be done the night before in front of the TV. The splashes of red cherry juice work really well with a Midsummer Murders re-run.
- Finely chop the onions and gently fry in a large pan in the oil until light and translucent
- Grind up the paste – blender or pestle and mortar and add to the fried onions.
- Fry spices gently for 2-3 minutes to bring out the flavours.
- Add the cherries and all the juice.
- Heat gently until bubbling with the lid off, cook for 20 – 25 minutes , stir as necessary.
- Add sugar to taste. Continue to cook with lid off for another 15 minutes, stirring.
- Add salt to taste – 1-2 teaspoons or none at all.
- Relish should be looking like relish.
- If the relish is still too runny and juicy, you can either continue to cook it down, or collect some of the juice into a bowl.
- Let the juice cool a bit, then stir in the cornflour until you have a runny paste.
- Add the cornflour back into the relish, stirring well
- Cook the cornflour into the relish – at least 5 minutes (stir well) – taste to make sure it has cooked and doesn’t still have a floury taste.
- Bottle in sterile jars.
Refrigerate after opening.
Brilliant with cold or hot meats roasts and sausages, and with cheese sandwiches.
Use it to rescue a bland winter curry or casserole.
WALNUT LIQUEUR (Nocello)
Two recipes shared by people visiting the orchard.
NOCELLO – Serbia – Vicki’s Recipe 2006
15 small green walnuts
250 gm honey
8 coffee beans
1 litre slivovitz, or rakia (Helen – vodka)
Mix , seal bottle and leave in sun for 20 days.
Drain and re-bottle
NOCELLO – Italy – Peter’s recipe 2005
15 green walnuts, quartered
600 gm 95% proof alcohol
200 gm water
375 gm sugar
1 gm ground nutmeg
medium slice of lemon peel
The walnuts should be green and easy to cut into quarters. You may wish to wear rubber gloves while handling them as the brown stain they produce is difficult to remove.
Put all the ingredients in a large air-tight glass jar, stir and close tightly. Store in a cool, dark place for 40 days but every 8 days take the jar and shake it vigorously in order to mix all the ingredients thoroughly and replace it in its cool, dark spot. The liquid and walnuts will turn black.
After 40 days shake well and then decant the liquid into a sterile bottle or bottles using a funnel and a coffee filter paper to separate the solid ingredients from the liquid. Discard the solid ingredients, (remember the danger of staining). Seal the bottles well (cork, flip-top or screw-top) and label them including the date. Store in a cool, dry place for two to three months to allow the flavours to blend and mellow.
CHERRY SAUCE – Delicious!!
2 cups sour cherries (Kentish or Morello) wiht stones removed
Approx. 2 cups dry white wine (or water)
Cornflour to thicken
Grated rind of orange/lemon (or both!)
1 tablespoon green pepper corns (pink OK)
1 Cinnamon stick
Red currant jelly (add to sauce off the stove)
Barely cover cherries with wine (or water)
Add sugar (to taste)
Add some (or all) of the “options” above
Add cornflour to thicken, if necessary
Cook until barely tender and soft—usually only a few minutes
(If cornflour is used it is best to add this when cherries are almost cooked and cook a little more until the sauce is clear).
Thank you Chris and Lyn for sharing this with us.
Albaloo Polow Persian Sour Cherry Rice
Try this recipe shared by a kind customer.