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Sour Cherry Jam

It’s like a bit of cherry pie in every bite.  Jam on toast has never tasted closer to the well loved desert.  And this canning jam is easy as pie, even for the novice canner.

Unlike the sweeter varieties, sour cherries are a breeze to pit.  So preparing this jam is a matter of a little gouge with the finger and a pop of the pit, a course chop, and the recipe is on its way.


We enjoyed using this jam in some experimental mini pies with leftover dough from a real-deal cherry pie.  It worked well for a quick sweet treat.



As with all canning processes, set out all supplies ahead of cooking.  Use fruit that is fully ripe for proper acidity level, and discard any fruit that is marred by insects or significantly browned.

This recipe and method is a double batch, which has been made multiple times with good results.  Often, jam recipes call for not doubling, and this is true because boiling times change based on amounts processed.  So, the key to success in this double batch, designed to efficiently fill a standard seven space canning pot, is to follow the recipe and timing exactly.


~Sour Cherry Jam~

8 c sour cherries, pitted and chopped

9 1/2 c sugar

2 packages pectin

1 T butter

7 pint jars, new lids and bands

Yield: 7 pints (plus a little extra for immediate tasting)

~Set out and have ready: funnel, jar lifter, large spoon, cloth to set hot jars, clean cloth for wiping jar rims.

~Rinse cherries; pit and chop cherries, measure and place in a large sauce pot.

~Fill canning pot and place all jars inside, setting burner on high to boil; this sanitizes, heats them for jam and gets your water going.

~Measure sugar into large bowl and set aside.

~In a small bowl, place lids and bands, ready to pour boiling water over to soak.

~Add pectin and butter to cherries and combine; turn on high heat and be ready to constantly stir.

~While stirring and checking mixture, remove hot jars to a towel and pour boiling water over lids and bands.

~Bring cherry mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that does not lessen when stirring) while stirring and scraping bottom of pot; stir in all sugar.

~Return to a full rolling boil, careful not to get splattered, using oven mitt or large lid to shield yourself; boil for timed 3 full minutes, again constantly stirring and scraping bottom.

~Remove jam from heat and immediately pour into prepared hot jars using funnel; leave 1/4 in headspace.

~Using a clean cloth dipped in the boiling water bath, wipe rims of each jar (even a speck of fruit unseen on the rim can compromise sealing); secure lids with bands finger tight.

~Place pints in boiling water canner for 10 minutes; remove back to towel and tighten bands when cooled enough to touch.

~Let stand without movement for at least 12 hours.

~Love from our kitchen to yours!  Gina@ Soul & Stomach~


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About the Author

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I am a writer, editor and community outreach coordinator in the beautiful Methow Valley of the North Cascade Mountains. My published work is found online and in newspapers and magazines in a wide spectrum of journalism. Writing is what I must do according to God's call, yet my earthly passions remain in loving my children, gardening up the earth and cooking fine foods from my heritage. ~publication references available upon request~


  1. Hello and Thanks Nina!

    I wouldn’t chance using the Rainiers with this recipe for canning because the acidity level of the fruit is pretty different. If you were to make it as a freezer jam, then sure, it could work fine! But for correct canning science, stick to the sour cherries with water bath preservation, or get ahold of a Rainier specific ratio recipe (I don’t currently have one but you inspire me to figure one out!).

    Re. subscription: I can remove the old email, yes. To subscribe with your new address, you will have to do that yourself so that you can confirm the subscription when you receive an email asking for that. And please do because I love staying in touch with you on self sufficient foodie goodness!

  2. Nina Laden

    Hello Lovely Georgina!

    Two things: One: This recipe sounds awesome. Do you think it would work with my Rainier cherries from our tree? Two: This is my old email and it will be self-destructing soon… Booth got us our own domain. My new email is:

    Can you remove the old from your mail list and add the new Thanks!!! Hope all is well in your beautiful world. Peace and love- Nina

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