Black Cherry Jam Recipe

There’s nothing quite like the luscious sweetness of black cherry jam to capture the essence of summertime in a jar. As the warm sun bathes the orchards, ripe black cherries burst with flavor, making this delectable preserve a favorite among jam enthusiasts and culinary connoisseurs alike. Whether generously spread on morning toast, drizzled over desserts, or used as a delightful glaze for savory dishes, black cherry jam adds a burst of fruity goodness to any meal. In this article, I will unveil my black cherry jam recipe with 3 ingredients: black cherry, sugar and lemon juice.

Select the Best Black Cherry

Before we dive into the delightful process of making black cherry jam, it’s essential to start with the right cherries. The flavor and overall success of your jam depend on the quality and ripeness of the black cherries you select. Here are some tips to help you choose the best cherries for your homemade jam:

  1. Ripe and Flavorful Cherries:
    When shopping for black cherries, look for ones that are plump, firm, and shiny. The cherries should have a deep, rich color, indicating their maturity and sweetness. Avoid cherries that are bruised, wrinkled, or have soft spots, as they may not yield the best-tasting jam.
  2. Local and Seasonal Cherries:
    Whenever possible, opt for locally grown cherries and purchase them during their peak season. Local cherries tend to be fresher, and their flavors are at their prime when they are in season. Check with farmers’ markets or local orchards for the freshest options.
  3. Organic or Pesticide-Free Cherries:
    If available, consider choosing organic or pesticide-free black cherries. These cherries are grown without harmful chemicals, ensuring a more natural and wholesome fruit for your jam.

Remember that making black cherry jam is not limited to using fresh cherries during the harvest season. You can also use frozen cherries or those that have been pitted and canned, allowing you to enjoy the rich flavor of black cherry jam year-round.

Once you have selected your cherries, it’s time to gather the other essential ingredients and equipment needed for the jam-making process. With the finest cherries at your disposal, your black cherry jam will undoubtedly be a delicious and satisfying treat that captures the essence of summer in every spoonful.

How to Make Black Cherry Jam

The ratio of cherry and sugar is 2:1. For example, with 240g (1 cup) cherry, mix with 120g (1/2 cup) sugar. If you prefer a higher level of sweet, you can apply the ratio 1:1. Besides, several drops of fresh lemon juice act as a natural pectin source, which aids in thickening the jam and achieving the perfect consistency.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to create your very own batch of mouthwatering black cherry jam:

Step 1: Preparation

Wash and Pit the Black Cherries: Rinse the cherries under cool running water to remove any dirt or debris. Gently pat them dry with a clean towel. Using a cherry pitter or a small knife, remove the pits from the cherries. This step may be time-consuming, but it is essential for a smooth-textured jam. You can also keep several cherries unpitted to make some whole-cherry jam for decoration. Squeeze lemon juice and prepare an exact amount of sugar.

Step 2: Cooking Process

Combine the Ingredients: In a large pot, add the pitted black cherries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir well to ensure the cherries are coated with sugar, promoting even sweetness and consistency.

Bring to a Boil: Over low heat, bring the cherry mixture to a boil. Stir frequently to prevent the cherries from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Skim Off Foam: As the mixture boils, foam may form on the surface. Use a spoon to gently skim off the foam to ensure a clean and visually appealing jam.

Reduce Heat and Simmer: Once the mixture has reached a rolling boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the cherries to cook down until they soften and release their juices.

Test for Doneness: After simmering for about 20-25 minutes, the jam should start to thicken. To check if it’s ready, perform the “wrinkle test.” Place a small amount of the jam on a chilled plate or spoon and let it cool for a moment. Push the jam with your finger; if it wrinkles and holds its shape, it’s ready. If not, continue simmering and test again after a few minutes.

Step 3: Canning and Storage

a. Fill the Jars: Carefully remove the hot canning jars from the pot using jar lifters or tongs. Using a canning funnel, ladle the hot black cherry jam into the sterilized jars, leaving about 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) of headspace at the top. Wipe the jar rims clean with a damp cloth to ensure a proper seal.

b. Seal the Jars: Place the sterilized lids on the filled jars and screw on the rings snugly but not too tight. This allows air to escape during processing and creates a proper seal.

c. Water Bath Canning: Place the filled jars back into the water bath canner, ensuring they are fully submerged in water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and process the jars for about 10 minutes. Adjust the processing time if you’re at a higher altitude.

d. Cool and Store: Carefully remove the processed jars from the canner and place them on a clean kitchen towel. Allow them to cool completely. As the jars cool, you’ll hear the lids “pop,” indicating that a proper vacuum seal has been formed. Store the cooled jars in a cool, dark place for long-term storage.

Common Mistakes

Two common mistakes while making black cherry jam are that the jam is too runny or thick. To fix this, follow the steps below:

  1. Jam is Too Runny: If your jam didn’t set properly, it may be due to insufficient pectin content. In this case, you can either recook the jam with additional lemon juice or add commercial pectin while following the package instructions.
  2. Jam is Too Thick: If the jam turns out too thick, it might have been cooked for too long. To fix this, simply add a small amount of water or fruit juice and gently reheat until it reaches the desired consistency.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully created your own batch of delicious black cherry jam. The wonderful blend of sweet and tangy flavors, encapsulated in a jar, is now ready to be enjoyed. Spread it generously on toast or indulge in creative dessert pairings such as cherry cheesecake or lemon pie. Your homemade black cherry jam is not only a delightful treat but also a testament to the joy of preserving the flavors of summer to savor all year long.

black cherry jam

Homemade Black Cherry Jam

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

There's nothing quite like the luscious sweetness of black cherry jam to capture the essence of summertime in a jar. A simple cherry jam recipe with 3 ingredients: black cherry, sugar and lemon juice.

Ingredients

  • 240g (1 cup) black cherry
  • 120g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 5ml lemon juice

Instructions

  • Wash and Pit the Black Cherries: Rinse the cherries under cool running water to remove any dirt or debris. Gently pat them dry with a clean towel. Using a cherry pitter or a small knife, remove the pits from the cherries. You can also keep several cherries unpitted to make some whole-cherry jam for decoration.
  • Combine the Ingredients: In a large pot, add the pitted black cherries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir well to ensure the cherries are coated with sugar, promoting even sweetness and consistency.black cherry jam
  • Bring to a Boil: Over low heat, bring the cherry mixture to a boil. Stir frequently to prevent the cherries from sticking to the bottom of the pot.black cherry jam
  • Skim Off Foam: As the mixture boils, foam may form on the surface. Use a spoon to gently skim off the foam to ensure a clean and visually appealing jam.
  • Reduce Heat and Simmer: Once the mixture has reached a rolling boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the cherries to cook down until they soften and release their juices.
  • Test for Doneness: After simmering for about 20-25 minutes, the jam should start to thicken. To check if it's ready, perform the "wrinkle test." Place a small amount of the jam on a chilled plate or spoon and let it cool for a moment. Push the jam with your finger; if it wrinkles and holds its shape, it's ready. If not, continue simmering and test again after a few minutes.black cherry jam

Notes

Two common mistakes while making black cherry jam are that the jam is too runny or thick. To fix this, follow the steps below:

  1. Jam is Too Runny: If your jam didn't set properly, it may be due to insufficient pectin content. In this case, you can either recook the jam with additional lemon juice or add commercial pectin while following the package instructions.
  2. Jam is Too Thick: If the jam turns out too thick, it might have been cooked for too long. To fix this, simply add a small amount of water or fruit juice and gently reheat until it reaches the desired consistency.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 280Total Fat: 0.1gSodium: 32mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 1.1gSugar: 48.5g

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