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Sour Cherry Jam

I absolutely love sour cherry jam. To me tart or sour cherries are perfect for two things – pies and jam. This is a simple and delicious, slightly tart jam.

This recipe comes from the ladies of the Best of Bridge cookbooks, so you just know it’s going to be perfect and turn out right every time. Best of Bridge book is all about home preserving.

sour cherry jam

Sour Cherry Jam

I absolutely love sour cherry jam. To me tart or sour cherries are perfect for two things - pies and jam. This is a simple and delicious, slightly tart jam.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Condiments and Jellies
Cuisine American


  • 4 cups finely chopped pitted sour, tart cherries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 package powdered pectin, 1.75 oz
  • 4 1/2 cups granulated sugar


  • In a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pot, combine cherries and lemon juice. Stir in pectin until dissolved. Bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add sugar in a steady stream, stirring constantly. Return to a full boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Stir for 5 to 8 minutes to prevent floating fruit.
  • Ladle into sterilized jars to within 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) of rim; wipe rims. Apply prepared lids and rings; tighten rings just until fingertip-tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let rest at room temperature until set. Check seals; refrigerate any unsealed jars for up to 3 weeks.


  • You can use a food processor to chop cherries; just make sure all of the pits are removed, then pulse a few times, scrape down the sides and pulse again. Do not purée.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Makes about five 8-ounce (250 mL) jars.


Most sour (tart) cherries grown in North America are the Montmorency variety, named after a valley in France where they originated. They are grown in Michigan and Wisconsin, and in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada.

Recipe Suggestion:

Use to fill small baked tart shells and add a dollop of whipped cream. Or spread on crêpes and roll up. It is also wonderful on ice cream, cheesecake (as in the image) or simply spread on toast or fresh bread. Yum!

The Importance of Sugar In Preserving:

Sugar has two main roles in preserving. One is to create a good set, or gel, for jams, jellies and marmalades, and the other is to ensure quality over long storage. It also contributes to the flavor balance, balancing the acidity so the product is not too sour to eat. Unless a recipe specifies that a change is possible, you should never reduce or increase the amount of sugar called for as you will risk an unsuccessful set and a poor quality preserve.

This sour cherry jam recipe comes from the latest Best of Bridge cookbook: Home Preserving. Find our review here.

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This recipe is offered here courtesy of Best of Bridge Home Preserving:120 Recipes for Canning Fruits & Vegetables by Best of Bridge Publishing Ltd. 2014 © It is reprinted with publisher permission.

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