Cherry Jam with no pectin


Summer is back and we are picking our CSA in Astoria again with Harvest Astoria! This year, we started a little late but our first fruits arrived this week! I was so excited for strawberries but I’ll have to pass them for some amazing cherries.

We got 2.5lbs of red cherries and 1lb of white cherries. With the help of one of my niece who was staying with me, we pitted out the cherry with chopsticks but eventually just used our fingers to pull them apart. Of course, she ate a bunch while we were doing this and ended up losing half a pound of cherries.

This cherry jam is not like what you get from Smuckers. It’s not pureed or super smooth and gelatinous. It’s chunky, a bit watery, and lots of cherry skin all over the place. As a kid, I would have hated that. But as an adult, you learn to appreciate every part of a food you eat. While this recipe uses no pectin, you can make a quicker jam version with pectin. I just chose not to. Also, you are welcome to use any sugar or no sugar at all! I opted for very little sugar. I chose palm sugar because what Southeast Asian girl doesn’t have palm sugar in her pantry?

I recommend using a glass jar to store jam to avoid any spoiling. Also, make sure to clean with warm water and soap for both lid and jar. This is important because last summer I didn’t do that and some of my jam actually had some mold.


  • 3lbs cherry, pitted
  • 3 cup water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp of sugar (your preference of amount and type of sugar)
  • pinch of salt


  1. Mix water, cherry, lemon, salt, and sugar together in a large pot. I used my non-stick pasta pot for this one.
    Bring to a boil at high heat (8-9) for about 10 minutes.
  2. Lower the heat to medium (7) and let it cook for 30 minutes. Be sure to stir once in awhile so that the sugar doesn’t settle.
  3. Turn off and let it cool for 1-2 hours, depending on how hot your house is.
  4. On a lower heat (3), cook for another 30 minute. Don’t forget to stir!
  5. Cool for 30 minute.
  6. On a low heat (2-3), cook for another 5 minute. This time, it’s imperative that you stir or you will burn the sugar at the bottom. Especially if you are not using a non-stick pan.
Cherry Jammin'

After it cools for several hours, you’re ready to can the jam! My friend saved me a bunch of baby food jars so that I could can a bunch of stuff and also, I use them for painting when I don’t have any yogurt cups around. Never throw out nice jars like these! Send them to me!

Cherry Jammin'