How to Make Cherry Refrigerator Jam | Easy Homemade Cherry Jam

Here is how to make homemade cherry jam to store in the refrigerator, an easy quick jam recipe using cherries. 

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Looking for easy recipes using fresh cherries? This post is all about how to make cherry jam.

Cherry refrigerator jam is an easy homemade jam that is made from fresh cherries, sugar, and lemon juice.

The jam is prepared by cooking the ingredients together until they thicken, becoming a delicious, spreadable jam that is perfect for serving with toast, croissants, yogurt, and other breakfast foods. Cherry jam can also be used as a filling for desserts and pastries.

Unlike traditional jams, cherry refrigerator jam does not require canning or processing for long term storage, as it is not a long term storage jam.

Instead, the cherry jam is made and stored in the refrigerator, where it can be kept for up to a week. The recipe makes about a pint of jam to use for your favorite pastries, breakfast foods, and desserts.

Refrigerator jams allow for a quick and easy way to enjoy fresh, flavorful cherry jam without the need for extensive preserving techniques. They can be a great way to preserve fresh, summery fruits for a short time to enjoy their flavors in a variety of ways.

Other delicious refrigerator jams that preserve the flavors of the season include strawberry refrigerator jam and apricot refrigerator jam.

Cherry Refrigerator Jam Ingredients

Here are the ingredients that are needed to make cherry jam.

  • Fresh Cherries (4 cups of fresh cherries). About a quart of fresh cherries is needed to make the cherry jam. The cherries should then be sorted, washed, pitted, and chopped before being added to the saucepan to cook. Cherries provide the base flavor and texture for delicious cherry refrigerator jam. Use fresh cherries with good flavor to make the jam.
  • Granulated Sugar (1 cup of granulated sugar). Granulated sugar helps to sweeten the cherry jam, and it also helps with the thickening process.
  • Lemon Juice (1 tablespoon of lemon juice). Lemon juice adds a slightly tangy flavor to the cherry jam. Along with enhancing the flavor of the jam, it also acts as a natural thickening agent due to its pectin content.

Using Lemon Juice to Thicken the Jam

One of the things that makes this homemade cherry jam recipe so easy to make is that it uses simple ingredients, including lemon juice. Lemon juice is used as a natural thickening agent, to help thicken the cherry jam.

Lemon juice contains pectin, a naturally occurring substance found in the fruit that helps the cherry jam set. The acidity in lemon juice is key—it creates the right conditions for pectin to work toward thickening the jam.

Plus, the lemon juice balances the sweetness of the cherries and sugar, adding a touch of tartness that brings out the flavor of the jam. Adding lemon juice is a simple, natural way to help ensure that the cherry jam has a great consistency and taste.

How to Make Cherry Jam

Here is how to make cherry jam to store in the refrigerator. The recipe uses simple ingredients to make a delicious jar of cherry jam.

First, gather all of your ingredients. You’ll need four cups of fresh cherries, one cup of granulated sugar, and one tablespoon of lemon juice. Start by sorting the cherries, removing any damaged cherries or debris. Place the cherries in a colander and wash them under cool running water to remove any dirt or debris. 

Next, remove the stems and pit the cherries. This can be done using a cherry pitter or by slicing the cherries in half and removing the pits with your hands or a small knife. Discard the cherry stems and pits.

After pitting, chop the cherries into small pieces to help them break down more easily during the cooking process.

Once your cherries are prepped, place them in a medium saucepan. Add 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the pan. The sugar helps to sweeten the jam, while the lemon juice adds a slight tangy flavor.

Lemon juice also helps to set the jam by interacting with natural pectin in the cherries. Stir the cherry mixture well to ensure that the cherries are evenly coated with sugar and lemon juice.

Set the saucepan over medium heat. As the mixture heats up, the sugar dissolves, and the cherries start to release their juices, creating a sweet, fragrant syrup. Stir the mixture frequently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. After about 5 to 7 minutes, the cherry jam mixture should come to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low and let the jam mixture simmer gently. Continue to stir occasionally to help ensure even cooking and prevent the jam scorching.

Simmer the cherry mixture for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until it reaches your desired consistency. The jam will thicken as it cooks, and it will also thicken slightly as it cools down after cooking.

To check the cherry jam for doneness, you can place a small amount of the jam on a cold plate and see if it sets after cooling for a minute or two. Once the jam has thickened to your liking, remove the saucepan from the heat and let the jam cool to room temperature.

Once the jam has cooled, transfer it into clean, airtight jars or containers. Seal the containers are tightly to help preserve freshness. Store the jars in the refrigerator, where the jam will continue to set and thicken slightly as it chills. Homemade cherry refrigerator jam can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. 


Making homemade cherry refrigerator jam is a great way of using fresh cherries that are harvested during cherry season. The jam can be used in a variety of ways to enjoy the flavor of fresh cherries.

After opening each jar of jam, check for signs of mold or spoilage before using the jam. The jam should have a fresh appearance. If you notice any signs of mold or spoilage, discoloration or off smells, or if the jam has separated, then discard the jam.

Enjoy homemade cherry jam spread over toast, with croissants or pastries, swirled into yogurt, or use it as a sweet topping or filling for desserts.

Testing Cherry Jam for Doneness

To test the cherry refrigerator jam for doneness, use the cold plate method. Keep a small plate in the refrigerator while the jam is cooking. Once the jam is ready, spoon a small amount onto the chilled plate and let it sit for a minute.

Push the jam with the back of a spoon. If it wrinkles slightly and holds its shape, it’s done. If it’s still runny, then let the jam cook for a few minutes longer and then test it again.

Another way to check cherry jam for doneness is by using a candy thermometer. Cook the jam until it reaches 220°F, as measured by a candy thermometer, which is the temperature at which jam typically sets. A candy thermometer can be a handy tool, especially when you want to be precise and avoid overcooking homemade jams, candies, and confections.

Tips for Making Cherry Refrigerator Jam

Here are a few tips that can be helpful when making cherry refrigerator jam.

These tips can help to ensure that a batch of cherry refrigerator jam turns out delicious and perfect for spreading onto toast, stirring into yogurt, or adding to desserts (cherry jam makes a delicious filling for chocolate layer cake!).

  • Use fresh, ripe cherries. Choose the ripest, freshest cherries that you can find for the best flavor. Overripe cherries can add too much liquid, while underripe cherries might not be sweet enough for making jam. Look for sweet cherries with good flavor. 
  • Pit and chop the cherries thoroughly. Make sure to pit the cherries thoroughly to avoid having any hard bits in the jam. Remove and discard the stems, leaves, and pits from the cherries prior to chopping the fruit to make the jam. Chop the cherries into small pieces to help them break down faster and create a smoother texture for the jam.
  • Stir the cherry jam frequently. While it’s cooking, stir the cherry jam frequently to help prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. Simmer the jam over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it reaches the desired thickness.
  • Test the jam for doneness. Use the cold plate method or a candy thermometer (cook to the jam until it reaches a temperature of 220°F, as measured by a candy thermometer), to help ensure your jam has reached the right consistency.
  • Use clean, sterile jars. Using clean, sterilized jars to store the jam may help your jam to stay fresh longer in the refrigerator. 
  • Label and date the contents. Always label your jars with the date you made the jam, and the type of jam that is stored in the jar. Since refrigerator jam has a shorter shelf life, this can help you to keep track of its freshness over time. 
  • Enjoy the cherry jam. Making cherry jam is a great way to r we joy the flavor of fresh cherries when they are in season. Use cherry jam as a spread for toast, croissants, or other types of breads, stir a spoonful in yogurt or parfait to add flavor, or use cherry jam as a topping or filling for desserts or pastries. 

How to Store Cherry Refrigerator Jam

Cherry refrigerator jam should be stored in clean, airtight jars or containers. After the jam has cooled to room temperature, transfer the jam into the containers, leaving a ½ inch of headspace between the top of the jam and the container lid.

After placing the jam into the containers, ensure that the lids are sealed tightly to help prevent any air from getting in. Label the jars of cherry jam with the date of preparation to keep track of its freshness. Store the jars in the refrigerator, where the jam will keep for up to a week.

For longer storage, you can freeze the cherry jam in freezer safe food storage containers, where it may last for up to 6 months. Just make sure to leave some headspace (about an inch) at the top of the containers to allow for expansion. Freeze the jam after it has cooled off once the jam is made.

To defrost the cherry jam, place the frozen container to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. A slow thawing process may help to  preserve the jam’s texture and flavor. Once it’s thawed, give the cherry jam a good stir to make sure the jam is evenly mixed and smooth before using it.

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Easy Cherry Refrigerator Jam

Cherry season is the perfect time to make cherry refrigerator jam. This easy recipe uses simple ingredients like fresh cherries, sugar, and lemon juice. Enjoy homemade cherry jam on toast, yogurt, or as a topping for desserts. Store the jam in the refrigerator for up to a week to use on your favorite breakfast foods or desserts.

Cherry Refrigerator Jam

Here is how to make cherry refrigerator jam using fresh cherries.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword cherry recipes, jam recipes, summer recipes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Author Sweet Bacon & Pecans


  • 4 cups fresh cherries pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  • Wash the cherries thoroughly, and then remove the stems, and pit the cherries. Discard the cherry stems and pits. Chop the cherries into small pieces for cooking.
  • Combine the chopped cherries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently until the sugar has dissolved and the cherries start to release their juices.
  • Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let the cherry jam simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until it thickens to the desired consistency. Stir the jam occasionally to help prevent it from sticking to the pan.
  • Remove the saucepan from heat and let the cherry jam cool to room temperature. The jam will continue to thicken as it cools.
  • Transfer the cherry jam to clean, airtight jars or containers, and store the jam in the refrigerator for up to a week.

This post was all about how to make cherry refrigerator jam.

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