How To Make Cherry Jelly

It’s cherry season up here and my best friend made sure I knew because the kids love cherries. So I had my husband grab a bunch on his trip to the fruit market and whipped up a batch of simple cherry jelly to stock in the pantry for winter. I made sure to set a jar to the side for my best friend as well.

With 5 kids we go through a lot of jelly. From peanut butter and jelly when they don’t want what I cooked to breakfasts. Truth is I am pretty certain a couple of them eat it right out of the jar when I am not looking.

So I love making our own jelly when I find fruit to spare in the garden or for sale. We love sweet summertime strawberry jam and mulberry jam. This Simple Cherry Jelly was so easy I managed it with a handful of kids and pets trampling through the kitchen.

Cherries are great to stock up on when you find them on sale this time of year. Cherries have many health benefits and can be used for helping balance the body and heal. There are a lot of natural remedies that would surprise you.

This simple cherry jelly makes a great option for adding flavor to a 5-minute cherry cheesecake. Try mixing it right into the base of the cheesecake or layering over the crust before filling.

Simple Cherry Jelly

How to make Cherry Jelly

Wash your cherries and remove the stems. You do not need to pit them.

Place in a large pot or dutch oven and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 3-4 minutes do not let the pot boil or it will reduce the flavor of the final product.

Mash cherries with a potato masher to release the juice.

Strain well.  The trick to skip the straining through several layers of cheesecloth. A mess not worth dealing with. Instead, use your french press. I am pretty sure I will never make jelly without it again. So much easier than other methods and gets the jelly just as clear.

Return to your pot after cleaning out the remaining pulp.

Mix in fruit pectin and bring to a rolling boil while stirring constantly.

Mix in the sugar stirring constantly bringing to a boil.

Once your cherry jelly begins to set while testing pour into sterilized jars. Place on lids and rings then process in a water bath at a full boil for 5 minutes. Any jars that do not seal can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days or reprocessed within 24 hours.

This recipe will fill 5-8 oz jars, about 3.5-12 oz jars, or 2.5 16 oz jars like I use. Bigger jars are like buying in bulk for large families

Want perfect jelly that you know will set every time?


Test your jelly before removing it from the stove. When you start making jelly toss a few metal spoons in the freezer. After your jelly has boiled for a bit with the sugar in it take a spoon and grab a tiny bit of jelly. If it jells to where you can flip it upside down after about 30 seconds your jelly is ready, If not let boil longer while stirring constantly. If your jelly fails to set add more sugar in 1/4 cup increments.

Simple Ways To Use Cherry Jelly

Homemade cherry jelly is a versatile and flavorful spread that can be used in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas for using cherry jelly:

Spread on Toast or Bread: This is the most straightforward and delicious way to enjoy cherry jelly. Spread it on warm toast, fresh bread, or a baguette.

Top Pancakes or Waffles: Use cherry jelly as a topping for pancakes or waffles. It adds a burst of cherry flavor and sweetness.

Fill Pastries: Use cherry jelly as a filling for pastries like turnovers, Danish pastries, or thumbprint cookies. Its fruity goodness complements a buttery pastry crust.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich: Elevate the classic PB&J sandwich by using cherry jelly. The tartness of the cherries complements the richness of peanut butter.

Create a Cheese Plate: Serve cherry jelly alongside a selection of cheeses. Its sweet and tangy flavor pairs well with a variety of cheeses.

Mix into Salad Dressing: Blend cherry jelly with vinegar, olive oil, and herbs to create a flavorful fruit-infused salad dressing.

Fill Cupcakes or Muffins: Use cherry jelly as a filling for cupcakes or muffins. It adds a sweet and fruity surprise in the center.

Topping for Cheesecake: Warm the cherry jelly slightly and drizzle it over a cheesecake for a visually appealing and delicious finishing touch.

Blend into BBQ Sauce: Incorporate cherry jelly into a homemade barbecue sauce for a unique and fruity twist. It pairs well with grilled meats.

Make a Glaze for Meat: Use cherry jelly as a glaze for meats like ham, chicken, or pork. It creates a flavorful and shiny coating.

Top Yogurt or Ice Cream: Spoon cherry jelly over a bowl of yogurt or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful fruity topping.

Fill Crepes: Spread cherry jelly inside a crepe along with cream cheese or mascarpone for a sweet and creamy filling.

Dip for Cheese and Crackers: Serve cherry jelly as a dip alongside a selection of cheeses and crackers for an easy and elegant appetizer.

Create a Cherry Jelly Vinaigrette: Mix cherry jelly with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and Dijon mustard to create a sweet and tangy vinaigrette for salads.

Stir into Cocktails or Mocktails: Use cherry jelly as a cocktail ingredient by mixing it with spirits, soda, or other mixers for a fruity twist.

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