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Cherry chocolate and Bourbon Jam

Ingredients

1lb Ripe cherries (red or black is all fine)
8oz Sugar
3 squares dark chocolate chopped quite small 
2 Table spoon liquid pectin
1 Tablespoon English Spirit, or Bourbon, or Kirsch 
Juice of 1 lemon (if you have sour cherries you can leave this out)

Method

Pitting cherries is a chore so I kept the quantities small here so you can try something different without too much work. 
The microwave method here is also great for small quantities as it cuts down on cooking time and the washing up.

Remove the cherry stalks and wash and shake dry. Leave the pits in for now.
Microwave the Cherries with pits for 2 minutes, then leave them to cool for 5 minutes.

The cherries will be soft now and you can just give them a gentle squeeze to remove the pits, saving the juice and squishy cherries.

Weigh the cherries and juice you have now, it should be about the same weight as the sugar you will use (so adjust the amount but don't add the sugar yet). 

Now return the juice and Cherries to the microwave and cook on high for another 5 minutes.

Add the sugar, pectin, and lemon and continue cooking in a large glass bowl, it will need another 6 minutes or so but keep an eye on it or it can easily boil over, I usually set no more than 2 minutes at a time.
If you have a jam thermometer it should be 105 C, 220 F, or check for gelling with a few drops on a chilled plate.

Remove the bowl from the microwave and add the English spirit, Bourbon or Kirsch carefully, the alcohol will mostly boil away here I'm afraid but the aroma remains.

Pour or spoon into a prepared 1lb jam jar ( I sterilise old jars by rinsing and microwaving for 1 min per jar)

Let the jam cool a little bit so it starts to gel, now add the chocolate chips to the jar and quickly mix through with a spoon.

Screw on the top, turn upside down for 1 minute to sterilise the lid from inside.




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