BC cherries are in! Which means a) summer is here, and b) we must celebrate this fact by eating as many cherries as possible. I know food in jars is so three years ago – unless you’re my sister, who came up with the brilliant idea one September that she could tackle two surpluses at once, and send the kids to school with lunch in a jar, tucked into a spare sock. (Don’t worry, she didn’t actually.)
I find a myriad of uses for those small half cup jars – I shake up dressings and dips in them, and melt butter to chill and clarify, and make crème brûlée (OK, I’ve only done this once) and little cheesecakes in jars, which can be sealed and tossed into your picnic basket or work bag. Cherries braised with sugar and their own juiciness is classic, but inspiration will present itself all summer – stewed rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, saskatoons. It’s all good. And there’s no need to turn on the oven!
In the past, I’ve made the crusts for jar-cheesecakes by mixing melted butter and graham crumbs, as you would to press into a pie plate, but I’ve since realized that since this type of cheesecake is all about ease, you can get away with bashing up some graham crackers or Digestive cookies (or shortbread, or gingersnaps) in a zip-lock bag with a rolling pin, and pour a bit of the crumbs, as fine or coarse as you like, into each jar. So easy. Which should be the case as we slide on into summer.