Biscuit topped with sour cherry jam and whipped cream with a mason jar with sour cherry jam in the background.
Photography & Art Design: Anthony Contrino – Food Styling: Carrie Parente

I really enjoy canning.  For me, the preparation is the most tedious part of the process.  However, once you get cooking, the process is fairly quick and easy, and you reap the rewards for months!

There are two camps when it comes to preservation – with or without pectin.  I am ALL about making my jams, jellies and preserves with pectin.  When you use pectin, the fruit does not need to cook for an extended period of time, giving it a fresh, just picked flavor.  

Sour cherries are my favorite fruit to pick and make jam with.  The season is disturbingly short, and I stalk my favorite farm’s website to track when they’re available.  You can make this jam with other varieties of cherries, but be sure to add a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to those batches!

Sour Cherry Jam

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 2 hours
Servings: 7 cups


  • 2 ¾ pounds sour cherries, pitted
  • 1 1 ¾-ounce package (6 tablespoons) powdered pectin
  • 7 cups sugar


  • In a food processor, pulse the cherries, in batches, until very finely chopped; transfer the cherries and their juices to a very large high-sided skillet.
  • Add the pectin and whisk well to combine.
  • Bring to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring often.
  • Add the sugar in one addition, whisking to combine.
  • Return to a steady boil, stirring often, and cook for one minute.
  • Remove from the heat and, using a large spoon, skim any foam off the top and discard.
  • Pour the jam into sterilized mason jars, leaving ¼” headroom.
  • Wipe the rims to remove any jam, if necessary, place the lid on top and hand-tighten the screw cap.
  • Process in boiling water for 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack for 2 hours. Refrigerate any jars that do not properly seal.
  • Store in a cool, dry place for up to a year; refrigerate once opened.
Course: Breakfast, Condiments
Author: Anthony Michael Contrino