My Secret to A-MA-ZING Cherry Jam!

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This week I was picking cherries with my buddy Tracy and her kids. The Sour Cherries were ready, almost 6 weeks ahead of normal, thanks to the early heat wave.

Sour cherries are different than sweet – they are not good eating cherries but are great for baking and jams!

meal plan month one

WHY do I go through this minor hassle to make home made jam?

Let’s look at cost first:
The average jar of jam at the grocery store is $4.00 — using FREE fruit, sale priced sugar and the jars I already have, I can make a jar for about $.10 each, saving over 97%. This may not seem like much but I make over 50 jars of assorted jams in the summer, so it saves me over $200 a year.

Now let’s talk taste:
A-MA-ZING. You can taste the freshness in home made jam. Sugar is a natural preservative and better for you than all the long words that you can’t pronounce! Give the jars a quick, 15 minute hot water bath and they are shelf stable for 2 years!

You betcha! It really doesn’t take much time to make the actual jam – it takes the longest to pick the berries/cherries/rhubarb and top/pit/slice it. Add a little colored fabric and ribbon to the top and it’s a gourmet treat that is sure to be enjoyed!

My recipe is similar to the one you see on the Sure Jell packages – but one “secret”.

Start with all the yummy cherries!

Pit them… 
Aren’t they beautiful?
Pop them into your chopper… 
Go crazy until you have 4 cups worth!
Pop them into your pan…
Add 5 cups of sugar. 
Stir it in and then… 
add the secret ingredient!
Yup – a teaspoon of Almond Extract!
Do NOT get the imitation here — go for the real stuff.
It’s worth it – honest!
Now bring to a full boil, while stirring –
and after about 2 minutes, add one box of Sure-Jell
Boil an additional minute or two, while stirring.
Then, remove from heat and ladle into hot, clean jars.
(I do them in the dishwasher)
Make sure you have a towel or hot mits on when you place the tops on them, and I pop them,
upside down, on a cooling rack until I get them all done.
Then, into the water bath they go, for 10 minutes.
You can see that I use different sized jars,
I leave the larger ones in the water bath for 5 additional mintues…
they are the ones WE keep, the smaller ones are the “giftables”. 
I also made my Rhubarb – Pineapple Jam this week!
You can get the recipe HERE
Yield: 4 - 6 pints

A-MA-ZING Cherry Jam

A-MA-ZING Cherry Jam

A-MA-ZING. You can taste the freshness in this home made jam. 

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • Approximately 2 lbs of fresh cherries
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 box Sure Jell


Begin by pitting the cherries.

Pop them into the food processor until you have 4 cups of chopped cherries
Put them in a saucepan and add 5 cups of sugar. Stir
Now stir in 1 teaspoon of Almond Extract! Do NOT get the imitation here — go for the real stuff.
Bring to a full boil while continuing to stir. After about 2 minutes, add in 1 box of Sure-Jell.
Boil an additional minute or two, while stirring.
Remove from heat and ladle into hot, clean jars. (I sanitize them in the dishwasher.)
Make sure you have a towel or hot mitts on when you place the tops on them and I pop them.
Now the jars will go into a water bath for 10 minutes.
If you have different size jars, leave the larger ones in for an additional 5 minutes.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 148Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 37gProtein: 0g

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