Homemade Cherry Jam

Refreshing, sweet, summery, and a touch of tart - Homemade Cherry Jam has never been easier to make. A few ingredients, one pot, and a couple minutes of your time is all it takes to have this in your fridge to enjoy on toast, biscuits, crepes, and so much more. 

I used to think that jam was hard and complicated to make. For some very odd reason, it seemed like a daunting task that was far too sophisticated for me. Seems easier to grab a jar from the grocery store - huh? Well, wrong! 

Not only is it cheaper to make it yourself, you can also adapt your jam to fit your needs, sweetness preferences, and thickness. It's stupid easy. If you open your fridge and see that you have some fruit on the verge of needing to be tossed - don't throw it away. Make a quick jam! It freezes well, pressure cans, or can be stored in the fridge for several weeks. 

If I want to impress friends, I will just whip together a quick homemade jam for a cake filling, to add to a bowl of vanilla ice cream, drizzle over yogurt or pancakes, or slather on a fresh buttermilk biscuit hot from the oven. I promise, once you prove to yourself that you can make any jam you please - you'll never go back to that store bought stuff.

What is the difference between Jam & Jelly?

JAM: Jam is a fruit mixture made up of sugar, usually a bit of citrus juice, and mashed fruit. For instance, pitted cherries, whole raspberries, cut strawberries, etc. These ingredients are cooked down until the fruit has softened, and typically the fruit jam is smashed or blended.

JELLY: Jelly is made from just the fruit juice, sugar, and usually fruit pectin is added for thickening.

PRESERVES: Fruit preserves are made with the whole fruit or large pieces of fruit. Like, fig preserves, apricot preserves, peach preserves, etc. This is the chunkiest of the fruit jams/jellies.

MARMALADE: Marmalade is made with the juice AND peel from citrus fruit. The peel is somewhat candied in the cooking process, and it becomes this delectable treat. 

I love them all. There are certainly special jobs and uses for each. If you've ever wondered which is which, there you are!

Ingredients Needed for Fresh Cherry Jam:

- Cherries: fresh or frozen work

- Sugar, granulated: the amount of sugar added depends on how sweet you'd like your jam to be. This all depends on how sweet your cherries are. I always start out by adding half of my sugar at first (so, 1/2 cup) and then adding more from there, as needed. 

- Lemon Juice

- Pinch of Salt

- Kirsch or Cherry Liqueur, Optional: this adds a nice added flavor touch but is not necessary.

How to Make Jam from Fresh or Frozen Cherries:   

1. Combine cherries, sugar, salt, lemon juice, and kirsch, if using, in a small sauce pan. 

2. Cook over medium heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Adjust the thickness with water, if needed.

3. Once cherries have softened and jam has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, use a fork, blender, or potato masher to break down the cherries. If you prefer your jam to have large pieces of fruit, you may skip this step.

4. Transfer the jam to a container or jar. Let cool completely. Refrigerate (for up to 1 months) or freeze (for up to 3-4 months) until you're ready to use.

5. Congrats! You've just made cherry jam! Enjoy the fruits (hahaha) of your labor.

Fellow Favorite Fruit Forward Recipes

Are you a fruit fanatic like me? Here are some other delicious recipes to try for yourself.

- These Blueberry Olive Oil Cookies are heavenly. They have the perfect balance of sweetness and nuttiness from the olive oil and also have white chocolate chunks, pistachios, and cardamom to round out all the flavors. They're a home run!

- Classic Homemade Lime Curd is a win, win every time. It's bright, creamy, sweet, refreshing, and perfect for any dessert Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter. I love it, no matter the weather. It's so easy to make and you're sure to love it. It's also delicious with THIS cherry jam in this Cherry Limeade Cake that I created for Season 12 of Food Network's Halloween Wars when I competed in 2022.

- Something to rock your world.. will be this Perfectly Spiced Apple Crisp. It's fabulous and can be made gluten free or regular. It's best when served with vanilla ice cream, but really.. isn't everything? 

Made the recipe?
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