Active time: 1 hour, 10 min. Total time: 1 hour, 40 min.
Yield: Makes 2 cups

This sweet, yet tart Cherry Jam perfectly captures the height of summer. It’s slightly chunky but still spreadable, and its sweetness is balanced out by hints of acid from the lemon juice. It’s perfect for toasts, biscuits, or even as a cake filling, but if you want to pair it with something more savory, try serving it on a cheese plate or alongside grilled pork chops or tenderloin. We use butter in this recipe to cut out the foam and bubbles that form during the cooking process. The tablespoon of lemon juice added at the end balanced out the flavor without interfering with the gelling process. We used sweet cherries in this recipe, but you can also make this with sour or tart cherries—you’ll just want to adjust the amount of lemon juice added at the end, or omit it completely.


  • 2 pounds fresh dark sweet cherries, pitted (6 cups)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon), divided
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter

How to Make It

Step 1

Place a small freezer-safe plate in freezer. Pulse cherries in a food processor until roughly chopped, 6 to 8 pulses. Stir together chopped cherries, sugar, and 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, stirring occasionally, until a thermometer inserted in mixture registers 220°F, 50 to 55 minutes.

Step 2

Test whether jam has properly set: Place 1 teaspoon mixture onto chilled plate, and return to freezer for 1 minute. Push jam on plate with fingertip; if properly set, jam will wrinkle on surface. Also, jam should not slide off plate when turned sideways. (If jam has not yet set, continue cooking 5 minutes, then test again.)

Step 3

Once jam is set, remove from heat. Add butter and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice; stir until butter has melted.

Step 4

Spoon jam evenly into canning jars; let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Cover with lids, and store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks. (Alternatively, to prepare jam for longer preservation: Spoon jam evenly into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Tap jars gently on countertop to remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Center lids on jars, apply bands, and adjust to fingertip-tight. Place jars in a boiling-water canner [or a large pot filled with enough boiling water to cover jars]; prepare jars according to canner manufacturer instructions for 10 minutes. Store at room temperature up to 1 year. Once opened, store in refrigerator up to 1 month.)

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