Cherry Jam

Cherry Jam

This cherry jam recipe makes about 6 half pints.

We found a great source for pick your own cherries. We pick a lot! Really a lot. This sweet cherry jam recipe is one of the results. It turned out fantastic.

It is VERY tempting to double the recipe. However, it is difficult to make double batches. If you want to make more at a time (I don't blame you), simply have two batches going at the same time in different pots.

Let's learn how to make cherry jam!

This cherry pitter turns out to be a fail! Not family approved at all...

Pitting cherries.

Pitting was the hardest part. But I got my crew of boys going, and they got them pitted for me.

They were getting juice EVERYWHERE in the process. But the cherries were pitted and ready for this sweet cherry jam recipe. 

THIS cherry pitter passed the family review! 

This cherry pitter works!

Edit to add: Since this page was built, we found the pitter that passed the family pitters approval. Check it out here. Video review with the pitter in action at my kitchen counter.  

Are cherries high in pectin? How do you thicken cherry jam?

I use a powdered pectin because cherries don't have a lot of natural pectin. If it didn't set up, it would probably make great cherry syrup though! 

Can you make cherry jam without pectin?

Cherries don't naturally contain much pectin, so that's why using powdered pectin is suggested. I suppose that with enough sugar, it might set up properly...but I've never actually tried it, and it's so easy to add pectin and make sure that it works! :)

This can be processed safely in Water Bath Canner.

What Kind of Cherries Should You Use?

I used bing cherries for this recipe, but you could use either sweet or sour cherries. There is so much sugar, I'm pretty sure even pie cherries would work (though the flavor might be a bit different).

How to Make Cherry Jam

Cherry Jam

Gather Your Canning Supplies:


  • cherries - enough to chop and make 1 quart
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 envelope powdered pectin

Start by preparing jars and getting water in your canner heating. You want the water to be hot but not boiling when your jars are ready to process. (See Water Bath Canning for full directions.)


Chopped cherries.

First, wash and pit all your cherries. 

Cherries in food processor.

When the cherries are pitted, you'll need to chop them up pretty fine. I use my food chopper, but you can just use a knife.  You want your cherries chopped/smashed.


Add lemon juice and pectin to chopped cherries and bring to a full boil, stirring constantly.

Cooked jam.

Add sugar and return to a full boil. Boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat. If you have developed foam (which is likely), skim off as much as you can. Then fill hot jars with hot jam, leaving 1/40inch headspace.

Measuring headspace.
Wiping rim.
Placing flat lid.
Placing screw band.

Processing Time for Canning Cherry Jam

For 1/2 pints or pints:

  • Process for 10 minutes if you are below 6000 ft elevation.
  • Process for 15 minutes if you are above 6000 ft elevation. 

More Things to Do with Cherries 

Canning Cherries
Cherry Pie Filling
Freezing Cherries

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Cherry Jam Recipe

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Chocolate Cherry Sauce
Choke Cherry Jelly
Cherry Jam

Recipe Source: Usually, I put my source for the recipe here...but, I forgot to make a note of where I got it! Most likely it was off the package of pectin. Remember different pectins may have slightly different instructions. The basics will be the same. I recommend going with the instructions on whatever pectin you choose to use.

Page last updated: 1/22/2020.

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