Fresh fruit is my absolute favorite part of summer. I love eating it ripe, picking it off trees & bushes, and even cleaning & freezing it for enjoyment throughout the year. In fact I try to mostly develop recipes that can be made throughout the year with little preparation, including making what I dub “freezer jams.” These are low histamine jams that can be made in larger batches, and then easily saved in ice cube trays for later use.
Contrary to my usual suggestion, I actually recommend using frozen organic cherries in this particular freezer jam recipe. I’ve tried using both fresh and frozen fruits in a few different cooked cherry recipes, and the difference in flavor is basically unnoticeable. So save your energy for something more fun, like making egg-free pancakes to put this jam on. If you can tolerate the 5 simple ingredients below, you’ll love trying this sweet cherry jam.
- 1 Cup cherries (pitted & rinsed)
- 1 Tablespoon date syrup (or honey)
- 1/4 teaspoon monk fruit extract (or stevia powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon hibiscus powder
- Pinch of salt
- 2 Tablespoons water (optional)
- Thoroughly wash your frozen cherries, and then cut each one into thirds or halves if they're particularly big. Place them in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and turn the heat on medium-low.
- While the pan heats up under the berries, add the date syrup on top, and then measure out the monk fruit, hibiscus powder, and pinch of salt into a separate bowl. Don't add the water yet.
- After a few minutes, your cherries and syrup should start to get mushy and bubble up, and you should start stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon, lightly smashing some of the berries as they further soften. Turn the heat to low and give this mixture about 2 more minutes of simmering (if it's still boiling, lower the heat even more), continuing to crush the berries and blend them with the date syrup.
- After those few minutes, take your potato masher (or a large whisk) and mash all the berries. Add your monk fruit, hibiscus powder, and salt mixture and blend thoroughly. This is when you can add up to 2 Tablespoons of water, if your mixture is too thick for your liking.
- Cook the jam for 1 more minute, then turn off the heat and continue to stir the mixture for another minute or two before moving it onto a cool surface. If you cook much longer you'll start to cook out the flavor. If you want a very smooth jam, use an immersion blender to even out the texture, which I would actually recommend if you used frozen fruit. Place your fresh jam into a glass jar to use immediately and safely freeze the rest.
DATE SYRUP: you can sub honey or maple syrup, but it needs a bit of traditional sweetener alongside the monk fruit. If your stomach can't yet handle sugar, you can omit it, but the texture may be overly-thick and it won't be as sweet.
HIBISCUS POWDER: if you can't tolerate hibiscus, you can sub 1 teaspoon lemon juice or lime juice, if tolerated.