If you are lucky enough to find sour cherries in the market, be sure to scoop them up and make this pectin-free sour cherry jam, moraba albaloo.
Most Persians love all things sour while I tend to lean toward the sweet side. Something as simple as noon-o panir (bread and feta cheese) is eaten differently by us, too.
A typical Persian breakfast is noon-o panir o sabzeh (fresh herbs with feta and lavash). I prefer my bread and feta with a dollop of jam. In fact, I will take a jar of homemade jam over any dessert, any day of the week.
I am not shy when it comes to my love for jams. I absolutely adore homemade jams. I was raised on jams: quince jam, blueberry jam, fig jam, orange marmalade, strawberry jam. My grandmother made jams, my aunts make jams and now I make jams.
Why you must try this jam recipe
Persians especially love sour fruits. There’s sour grapes (goureh), green sour plums (gojeh sabz), green almonds (chaghaleh badoon) and sour cherries (albaloo). Our take on sweet and sour is a lot different than the rest of the world’s!
Sour cherries are a little bit smaller in size than regular sweet cherries. They are red and brighter than the dark cherry varieties. And yes, they are sour. Not lemony pucker your lips sour, but certainly not super sweet.
And they are wonderful for jam making or pie baking or anything else you want to cook or bake.
If you find yourself flooded with sour cherries, rest assured that they freeze well. Just pit them first and freeze on a baking sheet before storing in resealable freezer bags.
Sour cherries are harvested and available in the summer, but for a short time period. And fresh sour cherries are hard to find, so if you do locate some, grab them because they won’t be available for long.
It’s such a rare treat to find fresh sour cherries here in the US. So when our local Persian market has some, I snatch them right up. Although you can eat them straight up, do remember that sour cherries are, well, sour.
But for me, sour cherries are begging to made into sour cherry jam, moraba albaloo. My recipe for the best sour cherry jam does not use pectin and I do use the minimum amount of sugar necessary. I want a mildly sweet jam, but still be able to taste the fruit and not the sugar.
Ingredients you need
- Sour cherries: I have made this jam using both fresh and frozen sour cherries.
- Sugar: I use granulated sugar in the jam, but you can use any sweetener to make jam. If you are using frozen cherries, use the juice from the thawed fruit and omit the extra water.
1. Remove seeds and stems from sour cherries and place them in a pot with sugar and water, if using.
2. Over medium heat, stir mixture until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil slowly, stirring often to prevent sticking. Reduce temperature to medium-low if cherry mixture is about to boil out of your pot. Cook until thickened, approximately 30 minutes.
3. If you are going to store in the refrigerator, cool until room temperature first then refrigerate. Or, if you are canning your jam, click here for canning instructions.
Recipe tips and FAQs
This is a sweet and sour jam that sends me back in time, back to my old kitchen in Iran where I enjoyed my breakfast rolling up pieces of lavash filled with feta and this wonderful jam.
Quite honestly, I don’t like sharing this jam, but prefer to hide it in the back of the refrigerator where I alone know of its existence.
You can also enjoy this sour cherry jam straight up and right out of the jar. Or if you prefer, swirl a bit in your yogurt or oatmeal for a wonderful breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up.
For cocktail loves, stir in a small spoonful in a glass of bourbon or whiskey.
- 1 lb sour cherries
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- Remove seeds and stems from sour cherries.
- In a small pot add pitted cherries with water and sugar.
- Over medium heat, stir mixture until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil slowly, stirring often to prevent sticking.
- Reduce temperature to medium-low if cherry mixture is about to boil out of your pot. Cook until thickened, approximately 30 minutes.
- If you are going to store in the refrigerator, cool until room temperature first then refrigerate. Or, if you are canning your jam, click here for canning instructions.
Serving Size:1 TBS
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 38Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 0g
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