Cherry-Vanilla Jam Recipe

Cherries on wood
Westend61 / Getty Images
  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 3 Half Pints (48 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
44 Calories
0g Fat
11g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 Half Pints (48 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 44
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 0g
Calcium 3mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Disclosure: We were furnished 20 pounds of bing cherries as part of Washington State Fruit Commission's #Canbassador program, and received vanilla powder from LAFAZA for testing. 

Cherries are perhaps our favorite fruit, and they make such a rich and delicious jam. Macerated with sugar, they take on an almost wine-like flavor. Rarely we are content to leave well enough alone, though, which is why we decided to use a touch of vanilla to amp up the sweetness and offset the slightly tart flavor of these gorgeous Washington bings. Truly, cherry jam is best when the fruit is a little on the tart side, though. Otherwise, it can be insipid. 

Use fruit that is ripe but firm for this recipe, and you'll have no trouble getting a set. Cherries are pretty high in pectin until they begin to over-ripen. 

In France, the pits of cherries and other stone fruit are often cracked open, and the nut within, called the noyaux, is steeped in the jam inside a cheesecloth sachet. This imparts an almond-like flavor that is quite delicious, but it's worth noting that the flavor comes from small amounts of cyanide in the noyaux. The quantities are too small to be harmful.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds cherries, pitted
  • 2 scant cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder

Steps to Make It

  1. Wash, stem, and pit the cherries. If desired, chop them down more finely. 

  2. In a large nonreactive pot, combine the cherries, sugar and vanilla powder. Macerate for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

  3. Put the pot over medium heat. Heat the macerated fruit, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is fully dissolved. Turn the heat to high, and cook, stirring only to prevent scorching, until ​the gel point is reached

  4. Pour the jam into clean, heated jars and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude.