Cherry Jam – simple and delicious!

Cherry Jam, simple and delicious! Fab Food 4 AllEver since I made my first jar of jam a few years ago I became hooked on jam making and have gone on to win a couple of 1st prizes at our local parish show. So every summer I look forward to gluts of fruit that seem to come my way. Sometimes it’s from family and other times it’s a bargain find in the supermarket! So the other day I came across trays of cherries for £4 whilst out shopping which I’ve never seen before. They’re usually £2 for a tiny punnet full. I snapped up a tray and knew that they were destined to be Cherry Jam (oh and we had a few for dessert)!

Cherry Jam, simple and delicious! Fab Food 4 All

I’ve only ever had one attempt at cherry jam before which ended in disaster (my one and only) as I mixed it with apple and due to the high pectin level of the apple the jam was ready a lot sooner than I’d allowed for and I ended up with concrete jam. It was meant to be my entry into the Parish Show as I thought something a bit different would stand more of a chance of winning. So I ended up entering a spare jar of my One Punnet Strawberry Jam which went on to win 1st prize so it all ended well!

Cherry Jam, simple and delicious! Fab Food 4 All

Well back to the Cherry Jam, I don’t believe in using jam sugar as I find it’s too easy to end up with a really stiff jam and I do like a soft set so I always use lemon juice (plus the rind sometimes) when extra pectin is needed. I’m pleased to say my Cherry Jam turned out perfectly, not too stiff and not too runny, just a really good soft set with lots of delicious chunks of cherry. My family all agreed and hubby was very pleased as Cherry Jam is his absolute favourite. I think I’ll have to see if there are any more trays of these cheap cherries as I can see this batch won’t last long! This recipe can easily be scaled up which is why I measured out the lemon juice. I do hope you give this quick and easy Cherry Jam a go if you come across a glut of cherries this summer!


4.9 from 21 reviews
Cherry Jam
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This simple Cherry Jam is made with just 3 ingredients, is soft set and tastes out of this world!
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: British
Serves: 1.5 jars
  • 750g cherries
  • 500g granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon (mine rendered a little over 3 tbsp)
  1. Wash and pit all the cherries and cut in half three quarters of them, leaving the other quarter whole.
  2. Put in a preserving pan (or large deep pan) along with the lemon juice and set over a low heat.
  3. Use a potato masher to lightly crush the cherries and simmer gently until cooked (about 7 minutes).
  4. Add the sugar and heat through on very low until all the sugar has dissolved (running a wooden spoon around the pan will help you know as the sugar will scratch if still solid).
  5. Bring to a rolling boil and time for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and drizzle a few drops of jam onto a chilled saucer.
  7. Place saucer into fridge for a minute and then run your finger through the jam, it's ready if it forms a crinkle and is tacky.
  8. If not quite ready boil for another couple of minutes at a time and re-test.
  9. Once ready ladle into hot jars and place lids on immediately. If using wax discs and cellophane, lay on the wax discs, wait until cool and then top with cellophane and rubber bands.
  10. Makes 1.5 standard jars (600 mls).
Put 2 saucers in the freezer before you start.
Sterilise 1 x 500 ml and 1 x 250 ml jars or 3 x 250 ml jar by washing in hot soapy water or take straight from dishwasher, filling with boiling water, emptying and then placing in oven for 20 minutes at 140°C then leave in oven until jam is ready. Washed lids should be sterilised with boiling water and then left to drain.

Cherry Jam, simple and delicious! Fab Food 4 All

For more cherry jam inspiration you might like::

Morello Cherry & Raspberry Jam – The Veg Space

As my Cherry Jam was made with cheap cherries I am entering it into Credit Crunch Munch which I run with Fuss Free Flavours and currently hosted by Lovely Appetite. I’m also entering Simple and in Season  over at Feeding Boys as cherries are very much in season right now!

Cherry Jam, simple and delicious! Fab Food 4 All

Permanent link to this article: https://www.fabfood4all.co.uk/cherry-jam/


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  1. alan

    Did exactly what you said measured out the lemon juice even added extra. The jam tastes fine but its runny. The time to cook was way beyond 10 minutes more like 25, it didn’t ever reach the jam thermometer reading of 104 so i cooked and tested many times, it looked ok on the plate from the fridge. I had a similar problem with blueberry jam recently, tastes great doesn’t set properly I think the lemon juice idea is good, better than pectin which makes thick sticky jam….but its not very reliable. I think I would drastically over compensate next time to make sure there is enough pectin in the mixture room the lemons…might be worth noting to folks

    1. Camilla

      Hmm Alan, I’m not sure what’s gone on here. I’ve never used a jam thermometer to test my jams but if you say that the ideal temperature wasn’t reached then that sounds like the heart of the problem. It should be a full rolling vigorous boil which you probably know but perhaps your sugar measurement was slightly off as that would affect set and temperature. I made a cake the other day and skipped a line and ended up putting far too much butter in it, it was only when my sister said she’d never had greasy hands from eating this old favourite that I double checked the ingredients and realised I’d put the wrong amount of butter in. The lemon juice doesn’t add pectin but aids in the gelling action. I have had success with this method in all my jams because as you say pectin just makes for a really thick jam which I don’t like. I did once push the boundaries of soft set jam with my Greengage and ended up tipping it all back in the pan and reboiling until a better set was achieved, I didn’t add any more lemon juice though. When you say you added extra, I’m wondering how much extra as I’m not sure if adding too much would be the problem as I always work out the lemon juice to the precise quantity needed. Wish I could be of more help but without standing over you whilst making this it’s a bit of a guessing game.

  2. Jon

    I followed your recipe with some home grow cherries. Tastes lovely but probably should have booked it a little bit more as it is not a thick consistency that you expect of jam. Ah well I won’t complain when I am eating it. Thanks

    1. Camilla

      Jon, if it hasn’t set just tip it all back into a pan and boil up until it passes the chilled plate test. I made this mistake with my Greengage Jam once and a re-boil solved things! You’ll need to re-sterilise your jars of course!

  3. connie

    love the jam i don’t need to can them after cooking do i for shelf life do i?

    1. Camilla

      Hi Connie, no, no further action required this is how we make jam in the UK, should keep for at least a year if not several in a cool dark place:-)

  4. Verna Wood

    Hi Camilla
    Firstly thanks for your reply. Unfortunately my first attempt hasn’t turned out well the jam is very stiff and sugar (crunchy )I kept to the recipe exactly i think perhaps i should have boiled it for longer. As I still have over a klg of cherries to use can I use less sugar as the cherries are very sweet the lemon juice I put in was about 3 tbls. Would it help if I re boiled what I have already made adding some more cherries to it I realise it’s trial and error but I’m determined to get this right,your advice would be much appreciated.

    1. Camilla

      Hi Vena, if it’s crunchy I can only assume there were some sugar crystals that hadn’t dissolved before you brought the jam to a full rolling boil. You definitely didn’t need to boil longer as a stiff jam means you have boiled it for too long already. I have never made a crunchy jam so not sure how to fix this element. I have made stiff jam which I have fixed by adding water, bringing back to the boil and re-doing the test, adding more water if necessary. I’ve also made watery jam which you just carry on boiling. Don’t add more cherries to the jam as they will not cook for long enough as you will just be doing the rolling boil again. I wouldn’t reduce the sugar any further as my cherries were sweet too. Perhaps Google crunchy jam causes.

  5. Verna Wood

    Hi Camilla
    I have just made a 750grm batch of your cherry jam kept to the recipe exactly (my first time at making jam) I did find that there was a foamy substance on the top is this normal? any way I transfered it all into jars as stated i used kilner jars which have the rubber seal around the lid. I assume this jam can be eaten straight away once cooled then once opened kept it the fridge.

    1. Camilla

      Hi Verna, great that you’ve made jam for the first time:-) Some jams produce what I call “scum” and I obviously didn’t get any when I made this one or I would have mentioned to skim it off the surface, another trick I use for particularly scummy jams is to also add a knob of butter at the end as that helps disperse the scum. You can eat the jam as soon as soon as it’s cool:-)

  6. Bonnie

    Can you please convert this recipe to pounds and/or ounces? Thank you!

    1. Camilla

      Just type the figures into Google and it’ll do it for you:-)

  7. Dan

    I normally just make strawberry, raspberry and blackberry jams (for jam making, blackberry = raspberry, I find) but when the local pick your own strawberry patch had been picked bare I found a load of cheap(ish) cherries locally… made this recipe with 1.5kg cherries (pre-pitting – and pitting 1.5kg of cherries is a job). Found it needed a good bit more boiling than the recipe stated to set, if I was doing it again I’d be tempted to use the jam sugar with added pectin, I know what you said about this making the texture a bit odd but with care they can make good jams. I always use jam sugar for raspberry jam as I like to cook that for an absolute minimum of time to keep the flavour fresh. But this makes good looking jam, hopefully good tasting too once it’s cooled enough to taste!

    1. Camilla

      Hi Dan, yes if you double the recipe it will take more time than the original recipe to boil off the extra moisture from the cherries and additional lemon juice. I’m sure you’ll love the flavour-)

  8. Angela

    Made this cherry jam absolutely delicious !! Enjoyed it on my toast this morning and also mixed with Greek yoghurt!! First time at making jam recipe easy to follow Thanks

    1. Camilla

      Excellent Angela, so glad you liked and found it easy to make:-)

  9. Daisy

    When I read further down I saw it was before pitting so might be a good idea to write 750 grams cherries BEFORE pitting in list of ingredients.

    1. Camilla

      Hi Daisy, this is the standard way of writing a recipe. If it was after pitting then the ingredients would read Xg pitted cherries, you can see same method of writing in this recipe I found under mine on Google http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/536014/cherry-jam

  10. Robin Clarke

    Tried several cherry jam recipes over the years with and without pectin with mixed results but this one does work! Setting point for me was 15 and 17 minutes for the 2 batches I made and temperature reached just over 200f

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Robin, great to have your feedback:-)

  11. Kate

    I’m going to try your very easy looking recipe.
    A couple of questions;

    Is the weight of cherries pre or post de pipping?

    Does the pan make any difference . Did you use a non stick or stainless steel?

    Thank you

    1. Camilla

      Hi Kate, the weight is always of the whole fruit unless stated otherwise and can’t think that I’ve ever actually weighed it after stoning etc. The pan must be a very tall/deep pan ie of equivalent size to a preserving pan, I use a very large stainless steal pan which you can seen in my first ever jam post https://www.fabfood4all.co.uk/strawberry-jam/ (the one where I learnt that jam sugar was something I never wanted to use again). It has to be big to allow for the rolling boil as you don’t want jam boiling over onto your cooker. I don’t think they make non-stick pans this big and even if they did I don’t think the high temperature reached with the jam would be a good mix for a non stick surface from a practical and health point of view. Let me know how you get on-)

  12. Heather

    Hi there. I love the look of this recipe! I just finished picking a ton of cherries from my father’s back yard trees! I have already pitted them, so wondering how much to reduce your measurement (you mentioned above that you measure the cherries with pits. They are a little on the tart side, so I’m not sure whether to add a bit more sugar. I also need the jam to be a little above soft, but definitely not stiff…do I add a bit more lemon juice? Also looking for the proper and easy way to freeze pitted cherries…and I’m wondering if this jam recipe would make a nice tart or pie filling? Thank you SO much for publishing your recipe! I’ve been browsing forever to find a recipe I like for what I want!

    1. Camilla

      Hi Heather, wow, so many questions:-) Why not weigh a cherry stone and estimate how many cherries you have and add that weight to the weight of your pitted cherries. I wouldn’t add any more sugar but the maximum ratio of fruit to sugar is 1:1 but I always try to use as little as possible as overly sweet jam isn’t great. Adding more lemon juice would lead to a stiffer jam, the set depends on how long you boil the jam for. I tend to make all my jams a soft set as there’s nothing worse than stiff jam so just follow the recipe. With regard to pie filling, I wouldn’t use it as that but it would be great in a Black Forest Gateaux. Re freezing cherries, I haven’t ever frozen any I’m afraid but I’m sure there must be some good advice on the internet:-) Good luck with the jam making:-) Camilla


    OMG what a wonderful jam !! I followed your instruction to the letter and made a double batch as i had a lot of bing cherries !! It turn out absolutely delicious …..the only difference was an extra 2 minutes of cooking at full boil probably due to the larger recepy !! The result was a fantastic thick jam easy to use on toast or in my roll cake maded this morning !!
    Thanks again !! Rod

    1. Camilla

      Aaw thank you so much Rodrigue, so delighted that you like the jam. Yes setting times can vary a little depending of the ripeness and variety of cherry used:-)

  14. Linda

    For the first time in years we got to the cherries just before the birds did . As we picked the 25lbs of them the birds just sat and watched incredulously…. your jam was just the ticket and I have quadrupled it up!
    Also made Clafoutis and cherry sorbet…. my husband is still in the gardening stoning the damn things though!

    Wish us luck!

    1. Camilla

      Wow, that’s an incredible amount of cherries, I imagine you’ll be freezing a lot too. Glad you like the jam-) Cherry sorbet sounds lush too!

  15. Lyndsey

    Hello;) I’m new to jam making. I’ve had a bumper crop off of my cherry tree! About 1000 lol. I’m making your jam recipe for the first time. Can you tell me if the weight of cherries is before or after they have been stoned? Thanks. Lyndsey.

    1. Camilla

      Hi, always in whole natural state the weights, so including stones. Good luck, aren’t you lucky, I think I had 20 tiny cherries from our yellow cherry tree and the birds had the rest-)

  16. Andy Jackson

    Hi Camilla
    We have a small cherry tree and have just picked about a kilo of ripe cherries. My problem is although the cherries are ripe they are still a little bitter and have know idea of what variety they are.i suppose my question is should I add more sugar

    1. Camilla

      That doesn’t sound like a bad idea Andy. With jam you can have equal quantities of fruit to sugar but I always try and take it down so that there is as little sugar as is needed for it to still taste good and not overly sweet. So by all means add more sugar. The cherries on my tree were not overly sweet this year, yellow/pink skinned ones.

  17. Richard Green

    The recipe looks quite simple, and seeing that I have nine cherry trees and my freind has just given me 3 kilos of cherries I need to do something

    1. Camilla

      Oh wow, lucky you, I have one young cherry tree and it is yet to produce enough cherries to make jam with:-)

  18. Richard Eldred Hawes

    Looks like I need to look for some cheap cherries

    1. Camilla

      Aldi is good for those:-)

    2. Daisy

      Tesco have one kilo boxes for £4 now selling for £2. They’re from Kent and absolutely delicious.

  19. Ann McGhee

    Do you skim the white foam? Love this recipe. Thank you

    1. Camilla

      If I didn’t mention it it’s because there wasn’t any, when there is yes I’ll skim:-)

    2. Penfold

      If you do get a white scum on top, try adding a nob of butter into the boiling jam, about 15gms. It does work with other jams and is included in the recipe

  20. A S,Edinburgh

    I love that story about the Parish Show! It’s very interesting that you don’t use jam sugar; I’ll have to give your method a go.

    1. Camilla

      No, used it once a didn’t like the stiff result, plus I just don’t like additives so like to keep things as natural as possible. I was reading today how although jam sugar allows you to boil the fruit for less long you don’t get as intense a flavour as a result, which I’d never though about before but it makes a lot of sense!

  21. William Gould

    That’s sounds fabulous! I love cherries. If only I could stop the blackbirds stealing 90% of the ones from my mini cherry tree….

    1. Camilla

      90%, you’re lucky, I think they had 99.9% from mine which had produced it’s first fairly decent crop this year!

  22. Laura Tovey

    I think that even I could manage to make this 🙂

    1. Camilla

      I’m sure you could Laura:-)

  23. Hazel Rea

    That looks really delicious! I was interested to read you saying put the wax disc on and wait until cool – I’ve always put the cellophone and band on straightaway as I was told you had to do that to make sure it stayed sterile and you got a really good seal.

    1. Camilla

      Thank you Hazel:-) I learned this cellophane/wax disc method from Vivien Lloyd, here’s an example: http://www.food-mag.co.uk/seville-marmalade-recipe-2/

  24. Katie Bryson

    Wow Camilla what a gorgeous looking jam and such beautiful pictures too. You must be very patient to process all of those cherries… does my head in but it’s always worth it isn’t it! Thanks for hooking up with Simple and in Season this month – hugely appreciated. xx

    1. Camilla

      Thank you Katie! Compared to stoning Damsons this was a walk in the park LOL:-)

  25. Isobelle Forde

    huge respect for having patience to pit all those cherries, your jam makes my mouth water and i think id end up just eating them all, cherries are my absolute fave fruit.

    1. Camilla

      I have a fabulous Oxo Cherry Pitter that makes light work of pitting cherries:-)

  26. Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet

    Oh, I’m a sucker for cherry jam, especially with some chicken liver pate or blue cheese. My biggest problem is that I eat whole cherries like there’s no tomorrow so not sure if I’ll ever get around to making jam. Just maybe one day there will be a glut….

    1. Camilla

      Ooh I’ll have to try that, well the chicken liver pate combo as I’m not a blue cheese fan:-)

  27. Sarah James @ Tales From The Kitchen Shed

    Your cherry jam is your best yet Camilla, it looks delicious. Hoping the birds don’t eat all the cherries off my tree this year, thanks for sharing x

    1. Camilla

      Thank you Sarah, I’m hoping my young cherry tree bears enough fruit to make jam with this year:-)

  28. Heather Haigh

    Cherry jam is one of my favourites and yours looks lushious.

    1. Camilla

      Thanks, it really is special:-)

  29. Leslie Hernandez

    This looks absolutely yummy I really want to try making cherry jam now 🙂 all I got do is buy the ingredients. I love this would probably add some peanut butter mmmmm getting hungry here lol…

    Leslie xoxo

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Leslie:-)

  30. Maren

    I’ve never tried Cherry Jam before, but something tells me that’s going to change!

    1. Camilla

      Great Maren, glad to have inspired you:-)

  31. Sam McKean

    This looks amazing, can’t wait for our cherries on the tree to start ripening now!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Sam, I’m waiting for mine too:-)

    2. Camilla

      Thank you Sam, I’m hoping for a decent crop from my little tree:-)

  32. Kavey

    I love cherry jam! When we visited Brogdale fruit collections a couple of summers ago I got several varieties of cherries from their onsite shop and made several different cherry jams, one for each type of cherry. Was so much fun to compare the different cherries side by side!

    1. Camilla

      Fab Kavey:-) I can’t wait for my yellow cherries to ripen and make jam with.

  33. Jacqueline Meldrum

    I always love your jams Camilla and this one looks fabulous too.

    1. Camilla

      Aah, thank you Jacs:-)

  34. GeorgeW78

    It looks delicious, I’m salivating! Super speedy too, must give it a try 🙂

    1. Camilla

      Thanks, can’t recommend it more:-)

  35. Ana De- Jesus

    I love cherries but have never tried cherry jam! What is up with that?! I love the look of your jam!

    1. Camilla

      Thank you Ana, well you have to put this right surely:-)

  36. emmagough78

    I love cherries, definitely going to try this out – I bet it makes a great cake filling with cream mmmmm – 😀

    1. Camilla

      Yes would be perfect in a Black Forest Gateau – might have to do this now:-)

  37. kellie@foodtoglow

    Cherry jam is just about my favourite (it vies with raspberry-blackcurrant for top spot) and with cherries getting cheaper by the day it is high time I made some this season. I like adding some vanilla seeds sometimes, but that’s probably sacreligious to some! Looks divine and would be just the thing on pancakes. 🙂

    1. Camilla

      I was thinking of adding almond extract but hubby wanted plain cherry jam so I stuck with that:-)

  38. Sarah Ella (Mumx3x)

    Oh my! This looks and sounds amazing! Cheery jam is the best kind of jam and yours seriously looks delicious. I like that you add lemon juice/zest instead of Jam sugar! How unique. I’ve not tried making jam, I really want to give it a go now though, you have inspired me 🙂

    1. Camilla

      Thanks;-) Excellent Sarah, I’m sure you’ll get the bug once you start, it’s so addictive:-)

  39. Jessica Howliston

    Oh my gosh this looks amazing, thank you for sharing the recipe I am definitely going to give this a go! Cherries are one of my favourite and this looks packed full of them! x

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Jessica, do let me know what you think:)

  40. Natalie Gillham

    cherry jam is my favourite so I’d love to try making it myself, thanks for the recipe x

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Natalie, hope you get to make it:-)

  41. Ickle Pickle

    I have never made my own jam – this looks delicious. Well done on your wins! Kaz x

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Kaz, well it’s never too late to start and you don’t need any fancy equipment:-)

  42. DannyUK.com

    I’m not a fan of cherries, but I must admit that this jam looks good!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Danny:-)

  43. Kira

    I have never actually tried cherry jam before, but I’d love to! Sounds delicious!

    1. Camilla

      Oh gosh Kira, it’s so good, you should definitely try it:-)

  44. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

    Oh my gosh this sounds amazing, I LOVE cherries. I love that you kept some of the cherries whole for a nice chunky jam!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Becca, the chunks of cherry are fabulous:-)

  45. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    Youhave iven me a huge jam craving now Camilla. I just want to spread this over a whole loaf of bread.

    1. Camilla

      LOL Dannii, I don’t blame you, make it a nice crusty Bloomer:-)

  46. Kate Ford

    Yum – that looks wonderful Camilla, and I’m with you on the soft-set jam rather than a ‘stand-your-spoon-in-it’ set. Looks perfect for scones. We have a cherry tree which is still quite a few weeks away from being ready to pick, so will bookmark your recipe!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Kate, yes there’s nothing worse than overly stiff jam. We have a young cherry tree and I’m hoping there might be enough cherries for jam this year as there was a lot of blossom this year:-)

  47. Eb Gargano

    Oh wow – this looks awesome!! I would never have though to make cherry jam, but I might just do so now – especially if I see any going cheap! I do love cherries – we had cherry crumble for pud last night – first time this year – every year I forget just how delicious they are! Eb x

    1. Camilla

      Thank you so much Eb. It’s so good I must make some more:-) I’ve never made cherry crumble so must get on to that!

  48. Emma @ Supper in the Suburbs

    Oh I LOVE cherries!!! We used to have a cherry tree in my parents garden but it got too big and they had to cut it down 🙁 I miss fresh cherries so much! This is a great way of preserving them for out of season.

    1. Camilla

      I have a small cherry tree with yellow cherries so might have to make some more jam if she gives enough cherries this year:-)

  49. Anosa

    I have never been a big fan of cherries but funny thing is I love cherry jam and wouldn’t mind trying to recreate your recipe. Thanks for sharing

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Anosa, that’s like me with figs, not keen but do like them in jam:-)

  50. Annie Bathurst

    Sounds delicious

    1. Camilla

      Thank you Amie, it certainly is-)

  51. Maya Russell

    Looks like nice jam! Wonder if I could ever resist eating the fresh cherries though.

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Maya:-) We ate a quarter of the tray and the rest went into the jam, you just need to buy extra:-)

  52. maria hackett

    omg! that looks amazing! hubby loves cherry and i should try this sometime!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Maria, my hubby’s favourite too, do hope you get to make it:-)

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