Summer is the season for Brazilian Cherries and there are bushes of them all over Brisbane just bursting with fruit. The bright red cherries contrast beautifully against the dark green leaves so they are very easy to spot. I have seen them along the train line and other public areas. On a morning walk in December we came across a bush laden with them out the front of Wynnum North State School. Mark had never tried them before and found them quite a unique flavour – they have a somewhat acidic or tobacco after taste. Having grown up on them I love the taste; I was transported back to the Mountain where we were always foraging people’s gardens for free fruit.
Unfortunately they are listed as a weed on many Australian websites and judging by the prominence of the bush throughout Brisbane I can understand why. This however is one weed we can take advantage of and perhaps help stop its spread by picking the ripe fruit before it is transported by birds and bats.
I decided to make Brazilian Cherry jam. I searched the web for recipes, learning that they are also known as the Surinam Cherry, and adapted a recipe from the Witchy Kitchen.
3 Cups Brazilian Cherries (deseeded)
1 Cup Sugar
3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
25 Grams Pectin
Hold each cherry over a measuring cup and squeeze the seed(s) out of the fruit. Do this until you have the desired amount of cherries.
In a pan, place the cherries, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a high simmer and stir. Lower the heat and allow to simmer on low heat stirring intermittently. Do this until you get a jam like consistency (approx 30 minutes).
Remove the jam from the heat and add the pectin, check the consistency by putting some in the freezer to see if it sets. You may need to adjust the amount of pectin you add (more or less depending).
If you are canning, place hot in sterilized jars and cover properly.
Enjoy with bread and cheese.