Make delicious cherry jam with just three ingredients. The cherry jam has a very lovely taste, fruity aroma, and lovely color that is so worth making. The cherry preserve is essentially a cherry jam without pectin and can be used similarly.
Cherries! Even the saying makes you feel like smiling, blushing with redness. Ok enough of romanticism we won’t discuss shades of cherries and that they all make you feel like different moods of love. I choose black cherries for this jam, which is sweet.
I've kept this recipe in small batches as the pitting is tedious. For this quick jam recipe, you could be done pitting in 20 minutes. Something, I prefer doing while watching my favorite show.
Why make this?
Cherries have a short season and you have all the right to enjoy this delicious fruit throughout the year by making an easy preserve that can be used as jam too.
Fresh cherries have the following benefits just in case you need more reasons to preserve them.
- These little berries are packed with minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants.
- This makes amazing fruit to boost exercise recovery.
- These may improve symptoms of arthritis, heart health, and gout.
- These can also improve sleep quality.
- Find more cherry benefits at Nutrition Stripped.
We need just three ingredients to make this homemade cherry jam without pectin.
I used sweet cherries that were available to me. But if you could mix sweeter varieties like bing or black cherries with sour varieties like Marello or Montmorency cherries you'll have a delicious sweet and sour jam.
You can't omit sugar completely in a no-pectin jam as sugar helps it gel and also helps preservation. But you can reduce it certainly. This is a very small batch recipe but this can easily be adapted to preserve kilos of cherries.
Homegrown cherries are often very sweet as they are vine-riped so consider starting with less sugar in the beginning and adding more after tasting. The same goes with frozen cherries which are also vine-riped.
Acidity in the lemon juice helps activate some of the natural fruit pectins in cherries and also helps preserve the fruit. These cherries are very sweet and not tart at all. So I added more lemon juice so the jam tastes more flavorful. But you can adjust the lemon juice if using tart or sour cherries.
How to make it?
Find a pictorial step-by-step of how to make easy cherry jam without pectin below with pro tips.
- Deseeding cherries can be tedious. You can either use a cherry pitter or just open the cherries with your finger and pull out the seed. The best thing to do is get help from children and do it while watching your favorite show. Find more methods to pit cherry here at Chelan Fresh.
- Transfer pitted cherries to the thick and wide-based pot. Add sugar and lemon juice. Mix well and let the cherries rest (macerate) in the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight. (Resting help the gelling bringing out the juices.) See "Low Sugar" above for details of sugar.
- Cook jam for 10 minutes on medium-low heat until soft. Pro tip: The preserve is actually ready at this stage just bring it to a rolling boil before filling the jars.
- You may mash it to keep the cherry chunks in the jam.
- Depending on how you intend to use the jam you can blend. You may do a few whizzes.
- When you see the jam has thickened. Wait for a minute. You can make a line on the spatula. If the line is thick test the jam.
- Keep 2 plates in the freezer to chill for a cold plate test. Transfer a little jam to the cold plate and that will show you the consistency of the finished preserve. When it is thick and holds its shape, cherry jam is ready. If not continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
- Ladle hot jam to clean dry jars. Let it cool completely before placing the lids. If storing this no-pectin jam in a fridge or freezer, sterilization of jars or canning is not needed.
How to store?
This recipe will make 1 regular cherry jam jar (300 ml) that will stay in the fridge for 2 months. If doubling this recipe, you may freeze the extra jars.
If canning the preserve, follow the sterilization process of jars and lids before filling the jars. Screw the lid without over-tightening, wipe the rim, and tap the jars to remove air bubbles.
Then process the jars in the water bath for 10 minutes. Use a clean spoon to serve the jam and do not linger your finger inside or around the rim of the jar. With a little care and your jam will be good for months.
Pitting is time-consuming, you can prep a night ahead. Combine all ingredients in a pot and store them in the fridge. Then plan to cook the next day when you do some work in the kitchen to reduce active cooking time.
If you consider making a 2x or 3x batch of the recipe, the cooking time will increase. Cook on lower heat to be safe and avoid caramelizing sugar.
I love to experiment and try new ways of making and that's what I encourage in my readers. Here's what else can be changed in this homemade cherry jam recipe.
- You may have some roasted almonds to make a cherry conserve.
- Adding chia seeds can make cherry chia jam and the can be stored in the fridge for a week.
- If you like aromatic preserve vanilla beans or almond essence can add that depth of flavor.
How to use it?
Cherry jam without pectin is nothing but cherry preserve. Here are a few ways to use the preserve.
- Spread it on toast or on the biscuit.
- Make a cherry sauce to drizzle on ice cream or desserts.
- Make a cherry drink.
- You may use it to make cherry oatmeal bars, cherry cookies, or cherry muffins.
Yes! If you have a lot of cherries that are difficult to pit and you have to preserve them. Just skip pitting. Cooking it mash it and remove as pits as you can by fishing. Some chefs believe pits also add some flavor.
If you plan to freeze the jam or if you are storing it in the fridge. You can skip the sterilization process. But make sure to fill the hot preserve in a clean dry jar. Also, turn the jars upside down to avoid contamination due to condensation.
Cherries do have pectin but they are low in pectin. Adding a little lemon juice can help.
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If you try the Cherry Jam recipe without pectin, I'd LOVE to hear your feedback in the comments. Your 5-ratings motivate me to do my best. Stay connected for more recipes and videos on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.
Cherry Jam (without Pectin)
- 500 gram fresh cherry, pitted
- ¾ -1 cup granulated sugar, start with less
- 4 tablespoon lemon juice, skip if cherries are tart or sour
- Take pitted cherries in the thick and wide-based pot. Add sugar and lemon juice. Mix well and let the cherries rest (mecerate) it in fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight.
- Cook jam for 10 minutes on medium-low heat until soft.
- Then mash it. Keep 2 plates in the freezer to chill.
- Depending on how you intend to use the preserve you can mash or blend. You may do few whiz.
- When you see the preserve or jam has thickened, remove them from heat. Wait for a minute. Now make a line with the spatula to check the consistensy.
Cold Plate Test
- Transfer a little preserve to the cold plate and that will show you the consistency of the finished preserve. When it is thick and holds its shape, it is ready. If not continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
- Transfer hot preserve to clean dry jars leaving only ½ inch space empty from the lid. Also, wipe off the rim with a clean and damp towel and tap the jars to remove the air bubbles. Place the lids and turn the jars upside down.
- Let the jam sit overnight before using. Store in the fridge or freeze.
- Or follow the canning procedure if doing 3X or 4X of this recipe. Process the jars in the hot water bath for 10 minutes and then transfer them to a clean dry towel. Check the seals after 12 hours and store unsealed jars in the fridge.