Way last Wednesday Annie and I picked pie cherries for jam, but by the time I got home I was too tired and hot and achy to do anything with them but stick them in the refrigerator and hope for the best. I worked for the next five days, so jam-making was on hold till Tuesday.
I went to our cherry spot (a formerly abandoned building which now seems to be a school), and to my dismay the yard was filled with aged Japanese gardeners (it sounded like they were speaking Japanese, though the only word I recognised was 'hai'). I was limited to picking from the tree that hung out over the sidewalk, but still managed to get another quart-and-a-half. I supplemented this with some nice raspberries from an alley on my way home.
My cherries from Wednesday were about 95% good, so I pitted them along with the new ones with my Cherrymat. The Cherrymat works better for large cherries like Bings--smaller ones require individual attention to ensure that they don't roll through unpitted--but it's still quicker than doing them with a bobbypin, plus the juice is contained.
I ended up with 1162g of fruit, including 180g of raspberries. I cooked this, along with a few cherry kernels and the juice of a small lime, with 870g sugar till it was 221F, then added a few mint leaves and bottled it. The next morning it was still really runny, so I opened up the jars and boiled everything up with a jar of apple pectin till it got to 222F.
I ended up with seven half-pints, and this time it set up nicely.