Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cherry Jam with Buttermilk Oatmeal Biscuits

With a load of cherries on hand after harvesting our cherry tree, I was looking for ways to use them. I love eating them fresh, but there is a limit. Not wanting them to go to waste, I was looking for a way to incorporate them into recipes. This is a fairly straight-forward adaption of David Lebovitz's No-Recipe Cherry Jam.

Cherry Jam with Cacao Nibs

Put approximately 2 cups of cherries in blender. Blend until finely chopped. Add another cup or so of halved cherries. Add grated zest of one lemon and juice of half a lemon to cherry mixture. Stir in half a packet of pectin. Cook over medium low heat for about twenty minutes. Remove from heat and measure amount of mixture. Add 3/4 of that amount of sugar (for two cups of cherries, add one and a half cups of sugar). Return cherries and sugar to heat. Add about 1/4 cup of cacao nibs. Cook for about a minute, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and pour into jars.

The jam needed something to serve it on, so I decided to try Patricia Wells recipe for Oatmeal Biscuits. These are biscuits in the British manner, more akin to crackers than the breadlike biscuits us Yanks think of when we hear the word. Wells' recipe calls for whole milk and lemon juice; I substituted buttermilk. The biscuits are light and crumbly, excellent with jam or a sharp flavored cheese. They are remarkably easy to make.

Buttermilk Oatmeal Biscuits

adapted from Patricia Wells' At Home in Provence

3/4 cup (100 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (100 grams) old-fashioned oats
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp baking soda
5 TBS (75 grams) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
3 to 4 TBS cold buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC)

In a food processor, combine dry ingredients and pulse until blended. Add the butter and pulse briefly until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk and pulse just until the dough begins to hold together. (You don't want a ball of dough; it should just come together and hold if you push it together with your hands.)

Transfer the dough to a floured cloth. Roll about 1/8 of an inch thick (3mm). Cut the dough with two-inch (5-cm)cookie cutter. Transfer the rounds to a nonstick baking sheet. Prick each round 4 or 5 times with the tines of a fork.

Bake in preheated oven until firm and slightly puffed up, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before transfering to wire racks to cool completely. Wells says the biscuits can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week.


  1. That jam sounds great! I made some using that method recently but didn't think to add cacao nibs - what a great and tasty idea!

  2. Anna,

    Thanks. The cacao nibs add a very subtle chocolate note. I might even add another 1/4 cup the next time I try making this for a more pronounced chocolate flavor.

  3. Nibs and cherries!! YUM! sounds delicious to me! Would you have any interest in joining a jam exchange? I'm hosting one this month: http://stephchows.blogspot.com/2009/07/jam-exchange.html


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