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Cherry Chocolate Preserves

Chocolate Cherry Preserves with Pomona’s Pectin

(Updated June 1, 2023)

If you aren’t familiar, Pomona’s Pectin is a sugar-free, preservative-free, low-methoxyl citrus pectin that does not require sugar to jell. It enables you to make jams and jellies with little or no sugar, allowing you to make a healthier version of your preserves. For those of us that love to jam, but are trying to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet, Pomona’s is the way to go. To learn more about making low sugar or sugar-free jam with Pomona’s read this, or consider getting the book Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin.

But, first we want to share a recipe for Chocolate Cherry Preserves from Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy (Fair Winds Press, June 2013). Chocolate Cherry Preserves is a low-sugar cooked preserve made with Pomona’s Pectin.












Chocolate Cherry Preserves

Yield: 4 to 5 cups / 4-5 8oz. Jars

Before You Begin: Prepare calcium water. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.

Wondering what calcium water is? Calcium water is a solution of the monocalcium phosphate powder (food-grade rock mineral source) that comes in its own packet with every purchase of Pomona’s Pectin. The Pomona’s Pectin directions tell you how to make calcium water with the calcium powder. Pomona’s Pectin recipes call for calcium water because the pectin is activated by calcium, not by sugar. You can read more about calcium water here.

  • pounds sweet cherries
  • 1 ∕3 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ∕8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons calcium water
  • cups sugar
  • teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder
  1. Wash your jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring canner to a rolling boil, and boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize them. (Add 1 extra minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.) Reduce heat and allow jars to remain in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan, heat to a low simmer, and hold until ready to use.

  2. Rinse cherries, remove stems, and then slice in half and remove pits. (Our cherry pitter will save you some time on this step!)
  3. Combine cherry halves with cocoa powder and the ½ cup of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  4. Measure 4 cups of the cooked mixture (saving any extra for another use), and return the measured quantity to the saucepan. Add cinnamon, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and calcium water. Mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and pectin powder. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  6. Bring cherry mixture back to a full boil over high heat. Slowly add pectin-sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve pectin while the preserves come back up to a boil. Once the mixture returns to a full boil, remove the pan from the heat.
  7. Can Your Preserves: Remove jars from canner and ladle preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, put on lids and screw bands, and tighten to fingertip tight. Lower filled jars into canner, ensuring jars are not touching each other and are covered with at least 1 to 2 inches of water. Place lid on canner, return to a rolling boil, and process for 10 minutes. (Add 1 extra minute of processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level). Turn off heat and allow canner to sit untouched for 5 minutes, then remove jars and allow to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Confirm that jars have sealed, then store properly.

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Recipe Rating

  1. Elizabeth A. Snead Posted August 11, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Just canned my first tomatoes! Anxious to try more canning

  2. Meghan T Posted August 11, 2016 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I love to make no sugar and low sugar preserves, jams, etc., and Pomona’s let’s me do that! The Chocolate Cherry Preserves look divine and would be great on homemade bread or waffles.

  3. Shanda Posted August 11, 2016 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I’ve never tried this pectin before but would love to give it a whirl!

  4. Wendy T. Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Used Pomona’s pectin last summer for the first time, made some delicious raspberry jam from hand picked berries from Salman Raspberry Ranch, Mora NM

  5. ColleenB.~Texas Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Great looking recipe. Thank U

  6. Linda Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Love the idea of jams without so much sugar!

  7. Mark Peters Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    THis is great

  8. Mary Posted August 11, 2016 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I have made this recipe several times and everyone loves it!

  9. erlinda dooley Posted August 11, 2016 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I have never used Pamona’s but I would love to try it.

  10. Mary M Posted August 11, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it.

  11. Michele Posted August 11, 2016 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    looking for ward to trying this recipe

  12. Jennifer Gero Posted August 11, 2016 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    I have been very interested in making my own jams, but did not know it was possible to do so without loads of sugar. Something I would love to try!

  13. Kenneth Fechtler Posted August 12, 2016 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    I made jam this year using honey to replace white sugar. I came out fine. I’ll be trying this recipe soon.

  14. Rachel Posted August 12, 2016 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I have started to work on greatly reducing the amount of sugar I consume and having been finding many tasty ways (and new foods) that make it not as great of a challenge as I thought it would be. I’ll have to Try out Pomona’s Pectin; sounds like it could really brighten up my breakfast without adding sugar!

  15. Judy Sailer Posted August 12, 2016 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m looking forward to trying Pamona’s Pectin, and it would be great to win one of the giveaway’s for the Jam Kit.

  16. Ann S Posted August 12, 2016 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Just canned beer jelly using Pomonas and Guiness Doubke Stout – awesome on pumpernickel and cheddar cheese!

  17. Nan Posted August 12, 2016 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    This recipe looks amazing. I just so happen to have cherries frozen in my freezer.

  18. Peg Posted August 13, 2016 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    The Chocolate Cherry Preserves looks so yummy!!! making and gifting,soon!!

  19. Karen Nielsen Posted June 14, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I have used Pomona pectin for many years now and found the low sugar product healthier and delicious. We have a zillion blackberry bushes which I have picked every summer and created a variety of jams and jellies. The recipes are easy to follow and can be adjusted for a variety of fruits. My family and friends keep asking for more!

    • Fillmore Container Posted June 16, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for sharing, Karen!

  20. Marg Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    I’m using the Ball preserve maker. How would I adapt this recipe?

    • Fillmore Container Posted June 24, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Hi Marg,
      We aren’t very familiar with the Ball preserve maker, as it’s not an item we carry. We might suggest reaching out to your local extension office, or possibly reaching out to Ball to see if they have specifics on how to adapt recipes for the preserve maker. Sorry we couldn’t be of more help.

  21. Pingback Pomona's Pectin Jam Recipe Round Up - Fillmore Container