Dairy Free / Desserts / Egg free / For the Holidays! / Fresh Produce / Fruit / Gluten Free / Goodness on the Side! / Homemade Gifts! / Preserving / Sweet Treats! / Using Coconut Oil

Tart Cherry Pie Jam

CherriesI am not sure why I was amazed to see two of my children come inside from the backyard the other day with a bowl full of ripe cherries. I know there are cherry trees back there, and I realize that it is summer…the two kind of go hand-in-hand! I guess in my head, it was too early for them to be picked. I probably should have just glanced out the window a little more to see our dogs helping themselves to these sour treats, then I would have realized they were ready for the pickin’! Seriously, the dogs are so silly. Dogs eating cherriesThey are faithful to tag along in the picking process, helping themselves to cherries the whole time. One of the dogs will nibble some cherries off of the tree, and then proceed to cough and hack on the pits. Then, she’ll go back for more. The dog is crazy I tell you! Her name is Kokie, but I don’t think it is a coincidence that my father-in-law tends to call her “Kookie.” That one is a little crazy at times!

Dogs eating cherries

I froze a few bags of pitted cherries the other day, but decided that the two bowls that were collected today would be put to better use by making jam from them. I made some Blackberry Orange Jam not too long ago and loved the results, and was excited to experiment with the cherries. The jam I ended up making and am sharing with you today I am calling Tart Cherry Pie Jam.

Instead of using just a box of pectin in the recipe, I used a bulk kind that comes in a larger container that makes up to 22 half-pint jars. The Ball company sells these “flex batch” containers and I like having the ability to measure it out, and having the extra on hand. The instructions on the inside of the label give the information needed to make as little as one jar in a batch, or up to ten jars in a batch.Ball RealFruit Pectin The kind of pectin I used in this recipe is called Ball RealFruit Classic Pectin. They make the RealFruit Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin in a flex batch container as well. The amount of pectin that is called for in today’s recipe is 4 1/2 tablespoons, which would be equivalent to about 1 1/2 packages of regular boxed pectin if that is what you have available.

This tart cherry pie jam is a hit in our house, which is saying something because for some odd reason a couple of my kids thought that cherries wouldn’t make a good jam! Crazy, I know…so I had to prove them wrong! The taste acquired from adding sugar, almond extract, vanilla, and cinnamon to the tart cherry pulp brought back memories of how my mom would make her cherry pie when I was growing up. I ask, how could I not like this jam?! It really is a delicious combination and I encourage you to try out a batch of this jam for yourself and let me know how you like it! Enjoy! -Shelley.

Tart Cherry Pie Jam
*makes approximately 6 half-pint jelly jars {8 ounce jars}

4 cups fresh tart cherry pulp {or pitted cherries that have been finely chopped}
4 1/2 T Ball RealFruit Classic Pectin
3 c granulated sugar {start with the 3 cups and add a little more, if desired, to taste}
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 almond extract
1/4 t vanilla extract
1/4 t coconut oil {or butter}, optional …this helps the jam not to foam up in the cooking process

*makes approximately 9 half-pint jelly jars {8 ounce jars}

6 cups fresh tart cherry pulp {or pitted cherries that have been finely chopped}
6 T + 2 1/4 t Ball RealFruit Classic Pectin
4 1/2 c granulated sugar {start with the 4 1/2 cups and add a little more, if desired, to taste}
1/4 t + 1/8 t cinnamon
1/4 t + 1/8 t almond extract
1/4 t + 1/8 t vanilla extract
1/4 t + 1/8 t coconut oil {or butter}, optional …this helps the jam not to foam up in the

Measure out cherry pulp/finely chopped cherries. Add to a large stockpot and place on stove. To cherries add coconut oil {or butter}, cinnamon, vanilla, and almond extract.

Cherry Jam

Cherry Jam

Cherry Jam

Cinnamon

Cherry Jam

On high heat, add pectin to cherries, whisking constantly, until cherries come to a full boil that cannot be stirred out.

Cherry Jam

Cherry Jam

Next, add sugar all at once, whisking to combine. *TIP: Have sugar pre-measured in a bowl to avoid having to measure it out in the heat of the moment.

sugar

Cherry Jam

Bring back to a full boil and start timer for 1 minute. Whisk during this 1 minute as well. After 1 minute, remove from heat.

Cherry Jam

Have hot, clean, and prepared jelly jars ready to fill. Fill jars with hot jam, leaving 1/4″ headspace at the top of the jar.

Cherry Jam

Cherry Jam

*If there is a little jam left over that won’t be enough to fill another jar, go ahead and place it in another bowl or container…this makes for a great taste tester!

Cherry Jam

Wipe rims with a damp, clean cloth or paper towel.

Cherry Jam

Place jar lids {that have been sitting in warm water} on jars, and then screw on bands until they are *just* finger tight.

Cherry Jam

Cherry Jam

Using a jar lifter, transfer to a water bath canner. Process in water bath canner for 10 minutes if you live at an altitude at or below 1,000 feet {if you are at a 1,001-3,000 foot elevation: increase processing time by 5 minutes; 3,001-6,000 foot elevation: increase processing time by 10 minutes; 6,001-8,000 foot elevation: increase processing time by 15 minutes; 8,001-10,000 foot elevation: increase processing time by 20 minutes}. I live at an elevation just above 1,000 feet, so I had to process my jars for 15 minutes.

*Tip: To avoid jars getting a “cloudy” look during processing, add a good “gulp’ of white vinegar to the water bath before adding the jars. It really does help keep them looking clean!

Vinegar in water bath

Process in water bath canner for 10 minutes if you live at an altitude at or below 1,000 feet {if you are at a 1,001-3,000 foot elevation: increase processing time by 5 minutes; 3,001-6,000 foot elevation: increase processing time by 10 minutes; 6,001-8,000 foot elevation: increase processing time by 15 minutes; 8,001-10,000 foot elevation: increase processing time by 20 minutes}. I live at an elevation just above 1,000 feet, so I had to process my jars for 15 minutes.

Once the jars have processed, carefully remove them and place on a towel-lined surface. Don’t worry if there is water on top of the jar when they are taken out of the water bath, it will dry. Try not to tip the jar to the side to run the water off, because it can interfere with the jar sealing correctly.

I like to place a towel over the jars at this point as well, just until they have cooled off a bit. Sometimes the cooler air hitting the hot jars can crack the jars, which is not good. This step, I learned recently at a canning class, isn’t a necessary step. I prefer un-cracked jars though, so I will probably continue to place a towel over them until they are cooled. You decide. You will also start to hear the “pinging” sound of the jars sealing once they have been taken out of the water bath and have started cooling. This is a music to my ears, and is something that you definitely want to be hearing!

Cherry Jam

Once the jars have cooled completely, make sure they all have sealed by gently pressing in the center of the lid. It shouldn’t pop back. If it does pop back, label and date the jar and place in the fridge to be used first. If they are sealed, label and date and place in a pantry or storage until ready to be used. Enjoy!

Cherry Jam

Tart Cherry Pie Jam

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2 thoughts on “Tart Cherry Pie Jam

  1. The “pinging” of jar lids definitely is music to my ears! I just finished making 70 pints of jelly from frozen fruit. (I’m crazy.) Plum, “Plumple” (plum/apple), and Pear Honey. I will be sending your cherry jam recipe to my mother-in-law. She’s in the thick of cherry harvest!

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    • Rachel…wow 70!! Don’t you feel so accomplished now that they are finished though?? Not to mention, you will appreciate having those jars in the coming months. Plus, it emptied out freezer space that I am sure you will be needing again soon! Plumple Jelly sounds delightful…I will have to try it out sometime! Thanks for passing the recipe along to your mother-in-law. Hopefully she will like it! Thanks for stopping by! -Shelley

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