Yield: About 6 half-pint jars
4 cups pitted and chopped fresh, ripe Bing cherries* (about 3 pounds)
½ cup strained fresh lemon juice
5 cups sugar
½ teaspoon unsalted butter
1 (3-ounce) pouch liquid pectin**
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
In an 8-quart pan, combine the cherries, lemon juice, sugar and butter. Over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.
Stir in the entire contents of the pectin pouch. Return the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Remove the pan from the heat. Skim off any foam. Stir in the almond extract. To prevent the jam from separating in the jars, allow the jam to cool 5 minutes before filling the jars. Gently stir the jam every minute or so to distribute the fruit.
Ladle the hot jam into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean, damp cloth. Cover with hot lids and apply screw rings. Process half-pint jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes, pint jars for 15 minutes.
*This recipe can also be made using frozen bing cherries. Allow them to thaw in the fridge overnight and then chop them before using.
** When making this with Pamona pectin you will need calcium water and the Pamona pectin instead. Add the calcium water with the lemon juice and hold back 1 cup of the sugar. Combine this reserved cup of sugar with the Pamona pectin and set aside. Once the jam has reached a full rolling boil, whisk in the sugar-Pamona pectin combination. Continue to boil for 2 minutes. When in doubt use a candy thermometer. The gel point for sugar is 220°.