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An opened jar of cherry jam with a spoonful.

Cherry Jam Recipe Without Pectin and Low Sugar

MelissaKNorris
Here's my favorite old-fashioned cherry jam recipe that's high on taste but low on sugar and doesn't use store-bought pectin! Can it or toss it in the freezer for freezer jam (or see our pectin option in the notes below if you're in a hurry!). No matter the method, these cherry jam recipes come together easily so you can enjoy the bright taste of cherries all year long.
4.10 from 41 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Servings 32 servings
Calories 75 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 5 cups sweet cherries pitted and chopped
  • 2.5 cups sugar can use between 2.5-3 cups depending on how sweet your cherries are and your preference
  • 5 tablespoons lime juice from concentrate or lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • Wash, remove stems, and pit cherries. A cherry pitter is highly advised
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Wipe rims with a damp towel, put on lids and bands. Submerge in hot water bath and process for 15 minutes *increase processing time for high altitude (see note section).
    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.
  • Make 2 pints or 4 eight ounce jelly jars.

Notes

*For altitudes 1,001 feet above sea level, increase processing time by 5 minutes for every 3,000 feet increment. For 1,001 to 3,000 feet add 5 minutes. 3,001 to 6,000 feet add 10 minutes, 6,001 to 8,000 add 15 minutes extra. 8,001 to 10,000 add 20 minutes extra.

Recipe for Cherry Jam with Pectin:

    • Ingredients:

      • 4 cups smashed pitted cherries (about 8 cups whole cherries)
      • 1/4 cup concentrated lime juice (or lemon juice)
      • 1 cup sugar
      • 3 teaspoons powdered Pamona's pectin
      • 4 teaspoons calcium water (comes with your box of Pomona's pectin)

      Directions:

      1. Pit cherries, then chop and mash or pulse in a blender (do not puree or completely liquefy). 
      2. Place in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add lime juice and calcium water. Stir well. Bring to a full boil.
      3. If using a STEAM CANNER begin to heat water to 180 degrees F (because this is a hot pack recipe).
      4. If using a WATER BATH CANNER begin heating BEFORE prepping your cherries as it takes longer to get to temperature than the steam canner.
      5. While the cherry mixture is boiling, mix together pectin and sugar. 
      6. Add combined pectin/sugar and stir constantly for 1 to 2 minutes.
      7. Remove from heat and fill jars to 1/4" headspace. Remove bubbles and adjust headspace if needed to maintain 1/4".
      8. Wipe rims clean, add lids and bands, tightening to fingertip tight, and process for 10 minutes. *
      9. For STEAM CANNER: turn off heat BUT don't remove the lid for additional 5 minutes, the steam will keep the temperature high and is required for total processing time with the steam canner.
      10. After 5 minutes move jars to a towel and allow to cool and set overnight or for at least 12 hours.
      11. Check seals. If the center of the lid gives, then store in the fridge and eat soon. If jars are sealed, wipe them down with a damp cloth, mark them with the date and contents, and store them in the pantry out of the light for up to a year. 
      12. For the WATER BATH CANNER: turn off the heat and remove the lid, allow jars to sit for 5 minutes before removing them to a towel.
      13. Allow to cool and set overnight or for at least 12 hours. Check seals. If the center of the lid gives, then store in the fridge and eat soon. If jars are sealed, wipe them down with a damp cloth, mark them with the date and contents, and store them in the pantry out of the light for up to a year. 
      14. Yields 4-5 cups of jam

Nutrition

Serving: 2TbsCalories: 75kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 51mgFiber: 1gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 15IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 3mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Cherry Jam, Cherry Jam Recipe, Easy Cherry Jam, How to Can Cherry Jam, Low-Sugar Cherry Jam, No Pectin Cherry Jam
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