4 cups finely chopped pitted fresh sour cherries (3 pounds cherries)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1.75-ounce box regular powdered fruit pectin
4 cups granulated sugar, divided
teaspoon unsalted butter, optional
1 teaspoons pure almond extract
Prepare canning jars and lids and bring water in water bath canner to a boil. In a 8-quart stainless steel stockpot, combine cherries and lemon juice. In a small bowl, combine pectin and cup sugar. Gradually stir into fruit. Add butter, if using.
Bring fruit mixture to a full boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in remaining sugar. Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly, and boil 1 minute. Remove pot from heat and skim off any foam. Stir in almond extract. Let jam cool in pot 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving -inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe jar rims and threads with clean, damp paper towel. Center hot lids on jars and screw on bands moderately tight.
Place jars in canner, making sure they are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Cover and bring to a gentle boil. Process 4-ounce jars and 8-ounce jars for 10 minutes, and 1 pint jars for 15 minutes.
Remove jars from canner and place on wire rack or cloth towel. Let cool 24 hours, then check seals. Wash and dry jars and cool in a cool, dry, dark location.
Yield: Six 8-ounce jars
Source: 175 Best Jams, Jellies, Marmalades & Other Soft Spreads, by Linda J. Amendt
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