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Ah, July is almost here! It’s the month to celebrate America’s independence, enjoy fun summer activities, and also savor the cherries that are in season. This sweet cherry jam recipe is one of my favorite ways to preserve fresh cherries. Easy to make, this jam is delicious any time of year and it even makes a lovely gift.
Tools you need to make jam
You can always improvise, but if you’d like to breeze through making jams and jellies, here are some must-have accessories.
Sweet Cherry Jam Recipe
- 2-3 pounds of whole sweet cherries. (You’ll want this to equal four cups of chopped cherries once they’re de-stemmed and pitted)
- 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
- ¼ cup of Chambord
- 1.75 ounces of powdered pectin
- 5 cups of granulated sugar
How to make sweet cherry jam
Wash your cherries. After they are clean, remove the stems and pit them. The Norpro Deluxe cherry pitter makes this task go by quickly. It’s fairly inexpensive and really easy to use.
1. Chop the cherries into small pieces and set them aside.
2. It’s time to prepare your jars for canning.
I do this by first running my jars, lids, and rings through the dishwasher on high heat. After they’re clean, I put the jars in a small stainless steel saucepan to simmer, set the rings aside on a clean surface, and fill my jars with water.
3. I then put them in my canner with a rack on the bottom and fill it with water until the level is a little over the tops of the jars. I bring the water in the canner to a good simmer. (Note: this step can be done simultaneously with the previous step.) While the jars are simmering, I lay out a clean towel to work on.
4. Now it’s time to make the jam. Start by putting in your lemon juice, Chambord, and 4 cups of chopped cherries in a stainless steel pot. Next, stir in the pectin until it’s fully dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Once it reaches a boil, add the sugar, and stirring constantly, return it to a full rolling boil. Now let it boil for a full minute.
5. You’re now ready to get your jam in the jars.
Canning jam instructions
Remove your jam from the heat, place it on your clean-towel workspace, and skim off the foam using a metal spoon.
Remove one jar from the simmering canner, being sure to pour the hot water from the jar back into said canner. Place jar on the towel.
Ladle in some hot jam leaving ¼” head-space. Remove any air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe off the rim of the jar, place a lid on it, and twist the ring on until it’s fingertip tight. Return it to the simmering water in the canner. Repeat this process until all the jam is in jars.
Once all the jars are in the canner, make sure they are still covered with water. If not, add some more water to the pot. Bring the water to a full rolling boil.
Once it’s boiling, here’s how long you need to process, depending on your location:
- 10 minutes if your altitude is 0-1000 feet
- 15 minutes if it’s 1001-3000 feet
- 20 minutes if it’s 3001-6000 feet, 25 minutes if it’s 6001-8000 feet
- 30 minutes if your altitude is 8001-10000 feet.
Once your processing time is over, turn off the heat, remove the lid from the canner, and let your jars cool in the water for another five minutes.
Finally, remove the jars and set them on a towel. Cover with another towel to protect from drafts and let them cool completely. Once they are cooled, check the lids to see if they have sealed.
I hope you enjoy your Chambord sweet cherry jam as much as my family does.
Here are 9 different ways you can preserve foods every prepper needs to know.
Note: the recipe above was adapted from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.
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