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I love the different fruits I’m able to grow on The Farm. But I’ll admit, it’s definitely easier to go and buy the fruit. As corny as it may sound, I truly love growing what I can in my own kitchen. When I know that a freshly opened jar of a canned good was picked, cleaned and finished by me, I get so much satisfaction! That’s just one of the joys of home preserving: knowing where the food comes from. And this canned cherry jam is no exception. You can either choose to eat it without the canning process straight from the refrigerator or place the jam in jars and water bath it for a few minutes.
Cherries are a little more work than other fruits. But after the pitting is done, sour cherries are amazing to use in baked goods and especially in jam. With a few sweet cherries mixed in and a dash of optional brandy, this jam is worth the work!
You can cool the jam and keep it in the refrigerator or process it in a hot water bath for ten minutes to seal. The sealed jars will keep for up to a year in a cool, dark place. If you are uncertain about canning, make sure to watch my canning 101 video to prepare yourself.
This jam is wonderful on toast or mixed with cream cheese on your morning bagel. I love making and giving jams as gifts. Enjoy!
Watch how to can cherry jam
How to Can Cherry Jam
- 6 cups crushed cherries (5 cups sour cherries + 1 cup sweet cherries)
- 5 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2-4 tbsp brandy
- 2-4 tbsp Kirsch (cherry liqueur)
- Place a small plate in the freezer to check the thickness of the jam later.
- Lightly mash cherries into measuring glass to adequately measure and begin drawing the natural juices. Combine cherries, sugar, lemon zest, and juice in a large, heavy-bottomed kettle (8-quart).6 cups crushed cherries (5 cups sour cherries + 1 cup sweet cherries), 5 cups sugar, 1 tbsp lemon zest, 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Bring the jam to a boil and then slow simmer over medium-high heat. Mash the mixture while it cooks to help break down the cherries. This recipe contains no added pectin so the jam thickens naturally with sugar and cooking.
- Cook for at least 25-30 minutes. If your cherries aren’t breaking down, you can quicken the process by using an immersion blender to combine the jam. I like to leave some pieces intact so you know what type of jam it is.
- Check the consistency by spooning a small amount of jam onto the prepared frozen plate and let it cool. Cook to the consistency you desire. At the very end of the cooking, add in the brandy and Kirsch. This prevents the flavor of these two alcohols from cooking off.2-4 tbsp brandy, 2-4 tbsp Kirsch (cherry liqueur)
- The jam can be used immediately or canned to preserve for a longer time.
- To can, pour the cherry jam into sterilized jars. Hot water bath the jars for 10 minutes. Remove and wait for lids to seal. (See my canning 101 video for specifics about canning!)
- I know it seems like a lot of sugar, but it is needed to thicken the jam. Plus, jams purchased from the store usually have even more sugar!
- I use an 8-quart kettle to cook my jam, which is important because as the jam cooks and thickens, it can bubble and splatter. A large kettle keeps the jam contained.
Wonderful recipe! I haven’t ever made anything with sour cherries before. I think that’s because I haven’t bothered to ever try, LOL. See, I grew up in western Washington where sweet cherries were common. Where I live now in central Minnesota, there aren’t really any sweet cherry types that are hardy here, just sour- so I haven’t given it a thought. Maybe I will now. We do love jam and pies here. 🙂