The recipe I'm using is pretty elaborate. It's from a book by Christine Ferber called Mes confitures (1997, 2002), which has an introduction by Alain Ducasse, no less. The cherries I have are pretty sour.
The recipe says to de-stem and pit the cherries, which I did yesterday afternoon, after I picked them. That was the tedious part. The cherries I'm using are very fragile and juicy, and the way I pitted them was by squeeze each cherry to make the pit pop out. A lot of juice was squirting in every direction — on my clothes, my glasses, and in my hair, not to mention on the table and on CHM and WCS, who were also sitting at the table.
The recipe calls for:
- 2¼ lbs. pitted cherries (1 kg)
- 1¾ lbs. sugar (800 g)
- 1 small lemon (juice only)
- 7 oz. green-apple jelly (200 g)
I recalculated ingredient quantities by multiplying them all by 1.7 because that's the weight of the cherries I was working with.To the pitted cherries, then, I added the juice of one large lemon and 1.350 kg of sugar, or 3 lbs. I let the sugar and fruit macerate together at room temperature for an hour, as specified in the recipe.
Then I put it all in a pot on the stove, brought it to the boil, and let it simmer for 5 minutes. After that, it cooled and spent the night in a cool place, right in the pot.
This morning, I poured the cherries through a fine strainer to separate the fruit from the juice. I added 12 oz (by weight) of jelly made from green apples to the cherry syrup, poured all that back into the pot and put it on to boil until it reached 225ºF. At that point, I added the cherries back in and let it simmer for five minutes, stirring it carefully. Then it was ready to put into sterilized jars.
Let's hope it's good. Actually, how could it not be?
* * *
Yesterday, CHM gave me a copy of an image showing one of his uncle's pastels. The uncle was the son of CHM's grandfather, who painted the canvas that hangs in the chapel of the château at Blois.
CHM says his uncle's pastels are reminiscent of Gustave Courbet's pastels. I'll let him put more information in comments if he wants to.