1kg cherries, stoned weight (you'll need to buy about 1¼kg, then de-stone them)
500g jam sugar (the one that has pectin added)
juice ½ lemon
4 tsp brandy
Put the cherries into a wide, deep frying pan, add 150ml water, then bring to the boil. Cook for 15 mins, stirring now and again until the fruit is starting to soften. Tip in the sugar, stir until it dissolves, add the lemon juice and brandy, then bring back to the boil.
Cook for 15 mins until the fruit has collapsed a little and the sauce is syrupy, smooth and dark purple. Spoon a little of the juice onto a saucer and leave to cool for 30 secs. Push it with your finger; it’s ready if the syrup wrinkles. Ladle into sterilised jars (see tip, below) and seal.