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Cherry Jam Recipe Without Pectin and Low Sugar

Old-fashioned cherry jam recipe high on taste but low on sugar!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 3 pints


  • 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


  • 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 3 pints or 6 jelly jars.


*If you're 1,001 feet above sea level you need to increase your processing times when water bath canning. If your altitude is 1001-3000 increase processing time by 5 minutes if altitude is 3001-6000 increase processing time by 10 minutes if your altitude is over 6000 feet above sea level then increase processing time by 15 minutes.
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