Best Cherry Preserves

"I made this a lot of years with fresh cherries from our tree. Cherries were very tart, but made the best preserves."
photo by mdmccle_475248 photo by mdmccle_475248
photo by mdmccle_475248
Ready In:
3 pints




  • Sterilize your jars and keep them hot while you're cooking the preserves.
  • Place cherries in a large, heavy duty dutch oven.
  • Combine pectin with 1/4 cup sugar; stir into cherries, Add butter.
  • Bring to a full boil, stirring, over high heat.
  • Add 3 more cups sugar and return to a boil , stirring constantly, boil 1 minutes.
  • Remove from heat; skim off foam.
  • Immediately spoon preserves into 3 one pint sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" headspace.
  • Wipe the sealing surface of the jars with a clean paper towel, dampened with hot water, to remove any preserves or sugar crystals.
  • Place lids and screw on bands fingertip tight.
  • Process in a boiling water bath for at least ten minutes, depending upon your altitude.
  • When the jars have been processed in boiling water for the recommended time, turn off the heat and remove the canner lid; wait 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner using a jar lifter and keeping jars upright. Carefully place them directly onto a towel or cake cooling rack to protect your countertop, leaving at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Avoid placing the jars on a cold surface or in a cold draft.
  • After jars have cooled undisturbed for 24 hours, remove ring bands from sealed jars. Put any unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use first.

Questions & Replies

  1. So, this recipe takes TWO boxes of Pectin? The Sure-Jell around here comes in a 1.75-ounce box.
  2. Van you use liquid pectin
  3. Can I use Splenda instead of sugar?


  1. Wonderful flavor, but it didn't set up with only one minute of cooking time. Cooked for nearly 30 minutes to achieve a jelled consistency after it cooled. Will make again, but with extended cooking time.
  2. what an awesome recipe! i love it. i made this just tonight and one jar is already missing a good amount. i could not resist breaking out the brie and letting it swim in the jam. i did reduce the sugar by about a cup, my cherries were semi sweet to start with and they are fabulous now. i just wish the recipe made more, i need to go and buy more cherries. thanks for posting such a fabulous and simple recipe. i WILL make this again and again.
  3. This recipe makes the most wonderful, fresh tasting preseves! I searched the internet for a recipe that called for a high cherry to sugar ratio and this was the winner. It is the only recipe that I found that did not sound so cloyingly sweet. The taste is marvelous and it was so easy to make. I also found that if you don't hard boil it the entire minute after the 3 cups of sugar is added, it makes a delicious cherry sauce that is to die for. Perfect over vanilla ice cream. The preseves/sauce is so good it's hard not to eat it straight from the jar. Thanks Melody for sharing!
  4. This was an easy recipie to follow, apart from pitting the cherries ;). I will be looking forward to enjoying them over a scoope of vanilla ice cream. Next time I'm going to try adding a tsp. Or two of ammerto or almond extract.
  5. Great Recipe! I've made it twice now...the second time included 3 recipes! Since cherries are so plentiful (and cheap) this season, I couldn't resist making more! I did reduce the sugar by about a cup, and increased the cooking time to 4-5 minutes. Will make great Christmas gifts!



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