Idaretto Cherry Amaretto Vinegar Jam

Yes!  You read that right!  Vinegar Jam....

A couple of years ago I had a crazy idea to make a jam with vinegar as a main ingredient to see what that would be like.  I had been brainstorming recipe ideas so that I could bring them to tastings as new and unusual things for folks to try at home.  When I brought the Idaretto Jam, people nearly murdered me to get more.  It was ugly. 

I mean the cherries and the Amaretto were amazing together by themselves, but when you add the Ida Red Wine Vinegar to the mix, the acidity makes it a magical experience.  This is not hyperbole.  Magical.

So folks convinced me that it would be a great idea to make and sell the jam as a nice sideline.  And boy did I try!  After a couple of years now of going back and forth on the best way to do it....I'm calling it quits on the Idaretto.  I am just not a professional jam maker, nor do I have any real desire to be.  It was just too much!

But there is a silver lining to all of this!  I am going to share the recipe with you!  If you've ever made jam before, this will all fall right into place.  If you haven't...by golly you ought to try this one.  So let's get right into it!  Here's the ingredient list:

  • 3/4 cups Ida Red Wine Vinegar
  • 10 oz. Dark Sweet Cherries, frozen
  • 1-1/2 cups cane sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups Amaretto (the liqueur, not the syrup...that's important!)
  • Pectin (I use Pomona's Universal Pectin, but if you like something else, by all means)

Method:

  • In a 2 quart, heavy-bottomed pot, bring the vinegar and cherries to a boil, separating out the frozen cherries until they are all sitting in the vinegar.  Simmer the vinegar until it reduces to about one half its volume.
  • Remove the pot from heat and blend the cherry/vinegar mix using a blender or hand-held mixer until it's as chunky as you think you'd like.  Thinner if you plan to spread it on toast, thicker if you'd like it more as a topping.
  • Add the Amaretto and return it to a boil.
  • Mix your preferred amount of pectin into the sugar (if you use Pomona's make sure to add the calcium water to the pot before you add sugar), and then add the sugar to the pot.  Return to a boil.
  • At this point, it's just like making any other jam or jelly.  Whatever your preferred method of determining when it's ready, whether coating the back of a spoon or drizzling onto a frozen plate, do that.  If you're new to the jam world, google away.  There's lots of information out there and they can explain it way better than I can.
  • This will make roughly a quart, so you can jar it up in whatever size jar you'd like.  Process the jars in a water bath (once again...Google explains this a lot better than I can) to seal them up for storage.

And there you have it!  You can be the envy of all your friends as the maker of the best jam in the universe (once again....not hyperbole)!

Enjoy!

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