Cherry Jam Recipe Without Pectin and Low Sugar

  • Author: MelissaKNorris
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 3 pints 1x
  • Method: Canning


Old-fashioned cherry jam recipe high on taste but low on sugar!



  • 5 cups sweet cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 2 & 1/2 to 3 cups sugar (depending on how sweet your cherries are and your preference)
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. Wash, remove stems, and pit cherries. A cherry pitter is highly advised
  2. Roughly chop up cherries. Place chopped cherries in a large stock pot. Add 1/2 cup water to cherries. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You’ll see the cherries begin to break down and thicken.
  3. Stir in sugar and lemon juice, mixing well. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Sugar will scorch quickly if not kept moving. Boil, uncovered, till thick, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into hot sterilized jars.
  4. Note: It’s set when it sticks to the back of a metal spoon. This is called sheeting. Look at the jam dripping off the edge of the spoon. It should look like a “sheet” of jam, not a bunch of individual drops. Cherry jam is not meant to be extremely thick. It’s a thinner jam, excellent on pancakes, waffles, toast, etc.
  5. Wipe rims with a damp towel, put on lids and bands. Submerge in hot water bath and process for 15 minutes. Take off of heat and let sit for 5 minutes before moving to a folded towel. Let sit for at least 12 hours before checking seals on jars. Then store in a cool dark place for up to a year. If any jars didn’t set, store in fridge.
  6. Make 3 pints or 6 jelly jars.