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cherry preserves in a mason jar with text Preserving Cherries recipe roundup

Preserving Cherries Round-Up

Cherry Pickers

Cherry season is one of our favorites, but it never seems to be around long enough! It seems that every year, we’re scurrying to get and create something special with these delightful little fruits! In this Preserving Cherries Round-Up, we’re sharing our favorite ways to hold onto those wonderful flavors all year long. Our Mason Jar Push Button Cherry Pitter is an essential in our home when we’ve got cherries!

We’re very blessed to live in an area with several wonderful orchards including some that offer the “Pick Your Own” opportunity! I have fond memories of going to Cherry Hill Orchards with as a child and enjoyed sharing that with my own children too. 

This Sweet Cherry Vanilla Jam is easy to make and so delicious! It would also be a great addition to your charcuterie board, as it pairs beautifully with cheeses.

Sweet Cherry Vanilla Jam

This recipe is a modification of Marisa McClellan’s Sweet & Sour Cherry Jam on her blog, Food in Jars.

Yields: 8 half-pint jars.

  • 9 cups pitted sweet cherries
  • 2 lemons – zested & juiced
  • 3 teaspoons calcium water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin
  • 1 vanilla bean
  1. Prepare a boiling water bath and 8 half-pint jars.

  2. Combine your pitted cherries, lemon zest & juice, calcium water, and about 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup water in a large jam kettle. Cover and bring to a gentle boil and allow the fruits to soften and release their juices. Stir frequently to avoid scorching.

  3. Slice open your vanilla bean and scrape out the contents and add to the fruit. You can also throw the remaining bean in, but remember to take it out before blending.
  4. In a bowl, mix the sugar & pectin with a whisk.

  5. When the fruit has softened, use a potato smasher to gently break up the fruits. Just enough mashing to ensure softness and to locate and remove the lemon seed and a few cherry seeds that managed to get into the kettle. If you prefer a less chunky jam, you may chop more or use your immersion blender.
  6. When your fruit is to the consistency you desire, add the sugar and pectin mixture and stir well to combine.
  7. Bring the fruit to a boil and allow it to boil vigorously for another 4 – 6 minutes until the jam begins to thicken.
  8. When the jam has reached a good consistency, remove it from the heat.
  9. Scoop & funnel jam into your prepared jars, clean the rims, and apply the lids, being careful not to over-tighten.

  10. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

  11. At the conclusion of the 10 minutes, remove the jars from the canner and place them on layered kitchen towels to cool.

  12. After the jars have sealed and cooled, remove rings from the 2-piece and label them all. If any of your jars didn’t seal, store those in the fridge and use first.

Recipe Notes

This recipe can be easily doubled. We also mixed our cherries using a combination of light sweet, and the dark cherries

Preserving Cherries Recipe Round-Up

Here are some more delicious options for preserving cherries:

Find more recipes on our jams & jellies Pinterest board!

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  1. Janet Keener Posted June 7, 2023 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    What is calcium water, and where can I get it?