Preserving the Harvest

How to Make Cherry Jam from Scratch

how to make cherry jam from scratch
How to Make Cherry Jam from Scratch - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Homemade Cherry Jam from Scratch

Knowing how to make cherry jam from scratch allows you to save money and provide delicious food for your family. Grow your own organic cherries and order pectin in bulk to save even more! Have you looked at the price of organic jam at the store…wow! I keep an organic garden and purchase organic and natural foods whenever I can. But it can get pretty pricey.

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Sour cherries make awesome jam!

So when our friends at Trogg’s Hollow Farm invited us to a ‘Cherry Picking Potluck’ I jumped at the chance. In case you are wondering, this was much tastier than a Cotton Picking Potluck! We brought our buckets and filled them with ‘chemical-free’ cherries from their trees. Then we had fun eating and hanging out with friends for the evening.

Learn more about growing your own cherries and other fruits from my posts Planting Cherry Trees and Fruit Trees for Self Sufficiency.

Fruit Trees for Self Sufficiency - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Making My Own Cherry Jam

The next day was ‘jam-packed’ with washing, pitting, and chopping cherries. There was enough fruit to make four + batches of jam. I used two different kinds of pectin from my pantry…Sure-Jell No Sugar Needed Pectin, and Ball RealFruit Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin.

Both kinds of pectin worked just fine and only needed about half the sugar that regular pectin calls for. I do think I like the jam made with the Sure-Jell pectin a little bit better. It didn’t call for any fruit juice or water, like the Ball pectin. The jam made with the Ball pectin didn’t have as intense a flavor. But it is still very tasty.

Read the instructions included with the pectin you purchase and follow their instructions for the best results. Making larger batches or changing ingredients or measurements can cause jam not to set properly.

I used organic sugar from Azure Standard for both recipes, so this jam was almost entirely organic…nice!

Organic sugar and other supplies are available through Azure Standard Buying Club. #ad
Cherry Jam - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

I ended up with approximately 23 half-pint jars of jam. Quite a jam session! I followed the recipes that came with the pectin and all of the jam set properly and tastes great.

For the Ball recipe you need:

  • 1 1/3 cups prepared fruit
  • 1/3 cup fruit juice or water
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons pectin
  • (Up to) 1/2 cup sugar

This makes 2 (8oz or 1/2 pint) jars of jam and you can multiply the ingredients to make larger batches. I multiplied all of the ingredients by 4 and made 8 half-pint jars in each batch.

Cherry Jam - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

For the Sure-Jell recipe you need:

  • 5 cups prepared fruit
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 box pectin

This made almost four pints of jam.

Cherry Jam - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre
Azure Standard offers two sizes of Pomona’s Pectin for your homemade jams and jellies. #ad

For both types of pectin, the instructions are the same.

  • Wash, pit, and chop cherries.
  • Fill water bath canner about 3/4 full of water and place on the burner. Turn heat to high and place half-pint jars in water. Once the water comes to a boil, set the timer for 20 minutes to sterilize jars. Use a jar lifter to remove jars from canner and set on a clean dishtowel on the counter until ready to fill.
  • Measure prepared cherries into a heavy saucepan and turn the burner to medium.
  • Measure pectin and part of the sugar (read pectin manufacturer’s instructions) into a bowl, mix and add to fruit. Stir.
  • Stir fruit and pectin mixture constantly until it comes to a boil that cannot be stirred down, add the rest of the sugar quickly and stir.
  • Bring fruit mixture back to a boil that cannot be stirred down, then stir and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  • Ladle jam into sterile jelly jars, wipe rim, put canning lid on, screw on jar band.
  • Process jars of jam for 10 minutes once the water comes to a rolling boil. Jars need to be covered with 1-2″ of water.
  • Remove from boiling water bath and cool at room temperature. Make sure lids seal as the jars cool.

Making your own jam is very rewarding and you’ll be sure to enjoy the ‘fruits of your labor’ in the winter!


This post is part of the blogger roundup Preserving the Harvest.

Do you love preserving the harvest as much as we do? Click the links below and get detailed instructions for preserving 23 of the most popular fruits and vegetables

Preserving Vegetables (in alphabetical order)

How to Preserve Carrots by Freezing, Canning, and More from Oak Hill Homestead

4 Easy Ways to Preserve Cauliflower from Dehydrating Made Easy

Cucumber Fresh Pack Garlic Dill Pickles Recipe from The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Make Your Own Garlic Powder and Other Ways to Preserve Garlic from Learning & Yearning

How to Freeze Your Green Bean Harvest from The Reid Homestead

How to Preserve Leafy Greens from Homespun Seasonal Living

Preserving Okra by Freezing, Canning, Fermenting, and Dehydrating from Schneider Peeps

5 Ways to Preserve Onions for Storage from Rockin W Homestead

How to Dehydrate Parsnips & Make Parsnip Chips from The Purposeful Pantry

3 Ways to Preserve Peppers from Grow a Good Life

5 Ways to Store Potatoes from A Modern Homestead

Ways to Preserve Radishes from The Purposeful Pantry

How to Freeze Squash (and Other Preservation Methods) from Our Inspired Roots

Freezing Tomatoes for Preserving Later in the Year from Stone Family Farmstead

3 Easy Ways to Preserve Zucchini from Grow a Good Life


Preserving Fruit (in alphabetical order)

Guide to Preserving Apples from Oak Hill Homestead

3 Ways To Preserve Fresh Summer Berries from Better Hens & Gardens

How to Make Cherry Jam from Scratch from The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

3 Quick Ways to Preserve Grapes from Homestead Lady

3 Best Ways To Preserve Mulberries from My Homestead Life

How To Preserve Oranges On The Homestead from 15 Acre Homestead

How to Freeze Peaches from A Modern Homestead

How To Preserve Strawberries On The Homestead from 15 Acre Homestead

How to Make Cherry Jam from Scratch - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre