Three jars of ruby red sour cherry jam on a wooden board.

    Easy Amaretto Sour Cherry Jam

    This recipe is just what you need to make beautiful ruby coloured Sour Cherry Jam. Made with sour cherries and amaretto, it’s the perfect combination of sweet and tart.

    Pucker Up It’s Sour Cherry Season

    The middle of August means so many things are happening at once. Garden produce is at it’s peak, berries are ripe for the picking, and I’m busy preserving as much of the Summery goodness as I can. Sour Cherry season is short and sweet (or should I say tart?) and this year the bushes are loaded with tiny ruby globes. 

    A spoon full of ruby red sour cherry jam poised above sourdough toast.

    What is the difference between Sweet Cherries and Sour Cherries?

    Sadly, our yard doesn’t have any sour cherry trees and I don’t know anyone with fruit to spare. Luckily, I always seem to find them at local markets during their short season. They’re not cheap but are so worth grabbing whenever you can find them. Look for small, bright red fruit with soft flesh. Unlike sweet cherries, sour cherries are quite tart and aren’t enjoyable when eaten raw. 

    Two slices of sourdough bread spread with ruby red sour cherry jam.

    Classic sour cherry cultivars are Morello and Montmorency with Nanking and Evans varietals the most commonly grown in Canada. The University of Saskatchewan has had a dwarf sour cherry breeding program since the 1940’s. Carmine, Crimson, Cupid, Juliet, Romeo, and Valentine are all super hardy varieties that can withstand long prairie winters.

    A slice of sourdough bread spread with ruby red sour cherry jam.

    What Can I Do With Too Many Cherries?

    If you are one of the lucky ones with an abundant sour cherry harvest, have no fear! There are many ways to use up all those cherries. Here are a few ideas: 

    Three jars of ruby red sour cherry jam on a wooden board.

    Getting Ready to Make Sour Cherry Jam

    It’s hard to believe but this recipe tastes more complicated than it really is. The most labour intensive part is pitting all those tiny cherries. I use a regular cherry pitter and it works just fine. Adding the the amaretto really adds a depth of flavour of this jam. However, sincee the amaretto is added at the beginning, all of the alcohol is boiled out while the jam cooks. That means there’s no boozy taste at all. 

    A slice of sourdough bread spread with ruby red sour cherry jam. Jar of jam and loaf of bread in the background.

    Pin Amaretto Sour Cherry Jam HERE

    Pinterest image of a spoon full of ruby red sour cherry jam poised above sourdough toast and toast already spread with jam.

     

    Yield: 8-250 ml jars

    Amaretto Sour Cherry Jam

    Amaretto Sour Cherry Jam

    This recipe is just what you need to make a beautiful ruby coloured Sour Cherry Jam. Made with sour cherries and amaretto, it's the perfect combination of sweet and tart!

    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 10 minutes
    Total Time 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 5 1/2 cups sour cherries (when smashed equals 4 1/2 cups whole)
    • 1 box Certo Pectin Crystals (regular)
    • 2 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup Amaretto
    • 4 1/2 cups sugar

    Instructions

    1. Wash and sterilize *9 250 ml jars and lids (as described here)
    2. Wash and clean cherries; carefully pit each one.
    3. Smash cherries in layers in a big pot.
    4. Add pectin and lemon and stir well.
    5. Turn stove to medium-high and add amaretto.
    6. Stir as mixture heats up. Once it comes to a rolling boil (lots of bubbles), allow to boil for one more minute.
    7. Remove from heat and continue stirring another 5 minutes.
    8. Carefully ladle into hot jars, wipe the rims, and cover with lids. Make sure rings are snug but not too tight.
    9. Allow to cool overnight. Check seals and refrigerate any lids that have not sealed.

    Notes

    Why *9 250 ml jars? I always prepare just one extra just in case the fruit is super watery.