Sour Cherry Preserves

Fresh sour cherries are a fleeting summer treasure. Make Sour Cherry Preserves to enjoy that special flavor any time of year.

I’ve never seen fresh sour cherries in my local market. They have a very short season and don’t keep well, just a day or two in the refrigerator. If you have a chance to get your hands on fresh sour cherries, jump on it.

I wanted to offer you an absolute basic way to preserve this fleeting treasure trove. Sour Cherry Preserves are similar to Sour Cherry Jam. Preserves are made with pitted whole cherries cooked with sugar and a little fruit pectin to thicken the juices.

Preserves are looser and a little less sweet than jam. You can use these preserves as a topping for toast or pancakes, spoon it over ice cream or yogurt, bake in puff pastry for a cherry turnover, or maybe just dip a spoon right into the jar for a little treat.

How to make Sour Cherry Preserves

a basket of sour cherries, a cherry pitter and two plastic containers on a kitchen counter.
  • Pit the cherries. I’ve tried several type of pitters and this is my favorite.
Pitted sour cherries in a glass bowl.
  • Combine the pitted cherries with sugar and pectin.
Sterilized jars and lids ready for filling.
  • Sterilize the jars and lids.
  • Ladle the hot preserves into the sterilized jars.
  • You can either refrigerate the preserves or can them for longer storage. Visit the Ball Canning Website for directions and information on how to can the preserves.
Sour Cherry Preserves
Sour Cherry Preserves

More Sour Cherry Recipes

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

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4.42 from 24 reviews

Sour Cherry Preserves

Fresh sour cherries don’t last long. Preserves allow you to enjoy them year round.
Prep Time10 minutes
Bake Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
48 servings
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  • 1 pound sour cherries (cleaned and pitted (weigh after pitting))
  • 2 tablespoons Ball Classic Pectin
  • 14 oz granulated sugar (1 ⅔ cups, )


  • Bring a very large pot of water to a full boil. Sterilize your canning jars (3 half pints) and lids by boiling in the water for 10 minutes (or with the sterilize setting on your dishwasher). Use a jar lifter or tongs to remove the hot jars from the water. Line them up on a clean kitchen towel.
  • Combine 1 pound sour cherries and 2 tablespoons Ball Classic Pectin in a small saucepan. Turn the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Add 14 oz granulated sugar and return to a boil. Allow the preserves to boil vigorously for 1 full minute, stirring constantly.
  • Ladle the hot preserves into hot and sterilized canning jars. Wipe the rim of each jar with a damp paper towel to make sure it's clean and attached canning lids.
  • Process the jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes for long term storage

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This recipe makes enough for 3 half pints jars. The preserves can be refrigerated for a week or two or processed in sterilized canning jars for longer storage. See the Ball Canning Website for information and directions for home canning.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 38kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.05g | Saturated Fat: 0.004g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.004g | Sodium: 0.1mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.04mg
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