Time to jam out this summer with small batch Sour Cherry Jam without pectin! Use it as a cake filling, swirl it into Greek yogurt, or simply spread it on toast.
Sometimes I can be a grandma at heart – home by 10 on a Friday night, love for all things cats, being annoyed by conversations outside of my apartment, playing bingo. I used to cross stitch and latch hook. I never did pick up knitting, but I bet I could and it would be fun.
Another characteristic that makes me all grandmotherly – making homemade jam. How many people under 35 do you know can can their own jam? I’ve been jamming since I was 25. If that doesn’t scream wild party animal, I don’t know what will.
And not only did I figure out how to make no pectin jam, I also figured out how to make a small batch, leaving you with only one jar of jam. Because if there’s one thing this single girl doesn’t have, it’s a pantry big enough for an endless supply of jam to get us through the apocalypse.
Armed with this delicious formula, I was ready to dive into my next jam session. Did you notice any fruit missing from that list? If you said cherry, you get a gold sticker for observation skills today (considering the name of this post and all).
I told myself when I picked tart cherries this year, I was going to make Sour Cherry Jam with vanilla bean. It’s been on my recipe idea list for YEARS. As the name implies, sour cherries aren’t as sweet as other types of cherries. They are too tart to eat on their own, but with a little bit of sugar and love, they become magically delicious.
The key to making cherry jam without pectin is cooking them down into a syrupy mixture. Be careful you don’t cook it down too much; otherwise, the jam becomes really sticky and difficult to spread.
How do you know when the cherry jam is done? You won’t know how runny it’ll be until it cools completely, which will be too late to continue boiling if needed.
That’s where the plate test comes in handy. Place a small plate in the freezer. Add a small amount of jam to the plate. Wait 30 seconds then tilt the plate. If it slides too fast, it needs another minute or two. If it gradually slides, it’s done. If it doesn’t move at all, it’s overdone.
Now you have a jar – what can you make with cherry jam? Strawberry shortcake comes to mind. Instead of the strawberries, layer the biscuits with fresh jam. You can also use it as a layer cake filling, swirl it into Greek yogurt, or simply spread it on toast.
Items You May Need (affiliate links)
Yields Roughly 1 cup
15 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 2 cups sour cherries, pitted and chopped
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- Place a small dish into the freezer to use for testing the jam.
- In a large deep skillet, add chopped cherries, sugar, and vanilla. Heat and stir until it reaches a rolling boil.
- Boil and stir until it thickens, 10 minutes. When it seems like it is gelling, take your plate out of the freezer. Put a small spoonful of the jam onto the plate and let sit for 30 seconds. Tilt it. If it slides too fast, keep cooking. If it gradually slides, it is done. Test every minute or two and do not overcook it.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to an 8 ounce jar. Let cool completely before using. Store in the refrigerator.