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.
My husband loves all sour things 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. He prefers to eat noon-o panir o sabzeh (fresh herbs). 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, blueberry, plum, orange marmalade, strawberry jam. My grandmother made jams, my aunts make jams and now I make jams.
All about sour cherries
Persians love all things sour, especially our 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.
The best sour cherry jam (moraba albaloo)
Although the hubby and I do not agree on everything, we both love sour cherry jam (moraba albaloo). This is the only jam that my husband will scoop out a spoonful and eat right out of the jar. For both of us, sour cherries reminds us of Iran and our childhood.
It’s such a rare treat to find fresh sour cherries here in the US. So when our local Persian market has some, snatch them right up! Although you can eat them straight up, do remember that sour cherries are, well, sour. My husband and his family (the sour mongers) love to eat it with salt, which cuts down on the sourness.
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.
Final thoughts on sour cherry jam (moraba albaloo)
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, as my husband does, by scooping it straight 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.
- 1 lb sour cherries
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 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.
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Serving Size:1 TBS
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 38 Total Fat: 0g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 1mg Carbohydrates: 10g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 9g Protein: 0g