Blue Ribbon Bing Cherry Jam

by Dorothy Reinhold on August 19, 2012

Print This Post Print This Post Bing Cherry Jam

Blue Ribbon Bing Cherry Jam — deep red, chunky with fruit and bursting with fresh cherry flavor and whiff of almond — is a multiple blue ribbon winner, including Best of Division.

When Linda Amendt hands you a jar of jam, you do a silent little dance, because you know it’s going to be the best version of that kind of jam you ever had.

Linda is the most decorated, beribboned home preserver on the planet, with more than 900 awards in food competitions across the country. Her books “Blue Ribbon Preserves: Secrets to Award-Winning Jams, Jellies, Marmalades and More,”  and “175 Best Jams, Jellies, Marmalades and Other Soft Spreads” are authoritative, instructional, practical guides to cranking out soon-to-be legendary jars from your own kitchen.

Cherry Jam closeup on the knife

So when she greeted me at the Orange County Fair last month with a jar of Bing Cherry Jam, I was elated. Oh joy, oh rapture! We were both there to judge culinary competitions, but all I could think about was cracking open the lid on that jam.

Bing Cherry Jam with a knife on top of the jarBing cherry season is roughly May to August, so why don’t you try your hand at making some Bing Cherry Jam? Let her guide you to success.

Bing Cherry Jam with cherries around it on the counter

Blue Ribbon Bing Cherry Jam

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6 half-pint jars

Blue Ribbon Bing Cherry Jam

Blue Ribbon Bing Cherry Jam: Deep red, chunky with fruit and bursting with fresh cherry flavor and a whiff of almond, this jam is a multiple blue ribbon winner, including Best of Division.


  • 4 cups pitted and chopped fresh, ripe Bing cherries (about 3 pounds)
  • ½ cup strained fresh lemon juice
  • 5 cups sugar
  • ½ teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 (3-ounce) pouch liquid pectin (repeat: liquid pectin, not dry pectin)
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract


  1. In an 8-quart pan, combine the cherries, lemon juice, sugar and butter.
  2. Over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the entire contents of the pectin pouch. Return the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Skim off any foam. Stir in the almond extract.
  3. To prevent the jam from separating in the jars, allow the jam to cool 5 minutes before filling the jars. Gently stir the jam every minute or so to distribute the fruit. Ladle the hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean, damp cloth. Cover with hot lids and apply screw rings. Process half-pint jars in a 200F (93C) water bath for 10 minutes, pint jars for 15 minutes.


Recipe source: Recipe source: “Blue Ribbon Preserves,” by Linda J. Amendt (HP Books).

Linda Amendt notes: Linda notes the Bing cherry crop was the worst she’s seen in 30 years this year. “The fruit I picked was also underripe, so I combined the Bing cherries about half and half (you know, a handful of these and a handful of those, a handful of these and a handful of those…) with some very ripe Tartarian cherries I picked the following weekend. The combination worked beautifully.” The moral is, use what you have! She was making the jam for favors for her nephew’s wedding – 120 4-ounce jars of cherry jam. “So, I had to be creative and improvise and came out with a great result. I’m just glad it all worked out and the happy couple are thrilled with the gifts they will share with their guests,” she said.

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Jars of Blue Ribbon Bing Cherry Jam on a white counterA super simple jam: Raw Blueberry-Blackberry Chia Jam ⇓

Raw Blueberry-Blackberry Chia Jam on Shockingly DeliciousIf you’d like to make a super easy, no-cook, no-can jam, try this  Raw Blueberry-Blackberry Chia Jam! 

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Betty September 7, 2016 at 10:55 am

Well, this was an experiment. I didn’t see that it called for liquid pectin till I read these posts, after the jam is done. I chose to follow this recipe as written to find out how it would turn out. I always follow recipes in the Sure Jell box, but they didn’t list a sweet cherry. I wish I would have chopped the cherries in the food processor some. Most of the cherries are whole and currently float Ed to top even though o let them be upside down for 15-20 minutes. I agree with a bit too ,I have extract. It definitely has an almond flavor. If I did it again, I’d use 1/2 tsp of extract for my taste. I’d also chop fruit, and boil fruit with pectin first, then the add sugar and bring to full rolling boil for 1-3 minutes. Also, I only got 4 pints.


karla July 5, 2016 at 5:08 pm

I made this with a vanilla bean and some almond extract and it was the best batch i made all year!
great on brie cheese or chia bread


Dorothy Reinhold July 5, 2016 at 10:18 pm

Great! Fantastic! Thanks for letting me know. I wish I could taste your batch, too.


DessertForTwo June 6, 2016 at 4:57 am

I can just taste this!


Megan - MegUnprocessed June 2, 2016 at 11:26 pm

Love Cherry Season!


susan / the wimpy vegetarian June 2, 2016 at 8:22 pm

I read through the comments about the jam coming out syrupy (I love syrup, so that’s actually ok with me), and I know that’s a danger with cherries since their pectin levels are so low. There’s actually some good pectin in the pits, but it’s not easy to remove those pits later, to say the least. I think I’ll try adding some chia seeds and see if that thickens it up too. Or put all the pits in cheesecloth allowing them to be easily removed. Either way, I know I’ll love the flavor, and it would just be fun to try some experiments 🙂


Michelle July 17, 2015 at 6:13 pm

I also followed the recipe to a T and made a special trip out to buy Certo liquid pectin, which I have never used before. My jam is syrup. Yummy syrup, no doubt, but I was shooting for jam. Back to the drawing board.


Kelly July 14, 2015 at 12:28 pm

I followed this recipe to a T and my jam came out very watery. It resembles nothing of the jam consistency or texture to the pictures you are showing. What happened? Why did this end up turning into cherry water?


Candice June 11, 2015 at 8:29 am

Just curious if we can use powder pectin and how much of it?



Dorothy Reinhold June 13, 2015 at 11:21 am

I am not sure what the conversion rate would be. You could ask Linda on her site if you like. She’s truly an expert.


Jo Ellyn Hetzer July 8, 2014 at 3:40 pm

WOW! I can’t stop eating this jam. The almond is just a perfect flavor addition to the cherry! This is wonderful! I am making this for friends, and coworkers for Christmas!


Dorothy Reinhold July 9, 2014 at 7:02 am

Jo Ellyn,
AWESOME! So glad to hear that!


Robin Jones June 28, 2014 at 5:29 pm

I just made this recipe Thursday the jam did not set and is syrup and the almond extract has overpowered everything. Is 1 tsp. correct ? What can I do to get rid of the taste? Since it didn’t set up I am thinking cooking it more with more pectin but is there anything to counteract the almond extract


Dorothy Reinhold June 29, 2014 at 10:50 am

So sorry to hear that you had a glitch. The recipe author, Linda Amendt, is a master preserver, so I am pretty darn confident in it. You might like to contact her through her website at (there’s a contact button), and see if she can help you figure out what went wrong and what to do. About the almond extract, I cannot advise. I adore the flavor and think it is perfect with cherries, but flavors are certainly personal, so what suits one person might not suit another. Good luck, and contact Linda. She’s extremely helpful! Thanks for coming back here to raise the flag!


Linda Amendt June 29, 2014 at 11:52 am


The juice content of fruit varies each year and this year, many of the sweet cherries are quite juicy. This extra juice can affect the set of the jam.

To reprocess an unset jam made with liquid pectin:
Empty the jars back into the stockpot. Heat, over low heat, until the jam mixture is warm and completely melted (if partially set). Add 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice for each 8-ounce jar being reprocessed. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid pectin for each 8-ounce jar being reprocessed. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Ladle into clean, hot jars. Cover with new hot lids and apply screw bands. Process jars in a water bath for 10 minutes.

The almond flavor is strong when the jam is first made. After it cools and sits in the jar for a week or so, the flavor mellows quite a bit. If you are not a fan of almond extract, you can certainly leave it out the next time you make the jam.


Dorothy Reinhold June 29, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Thank you so much for your thorough answer. Robin, I hope this works for you!


Kelly July 14, 2015 at 12:52 pm

The same thing happened to me! It came out more like thin syrup. Very watery, never set. I let it sit over night to see if the consistency would change, but nothing did. It’s still watery.

I feel hesitant adding any more liquid to the mix when trying to “repair” the water-jam…


Dorothy Reinhold July 15, 2015 at 9:38 am

If you haven’t yet, please scroll to read Linda’s answer to another reader whose jam didn’t set up. She has a solution you might like to try.


Bob Cov June 23, 2014 at 1:01 pm

What happens if you use only 2 cups of sugar? Do you need to add more pectin and if so, how much?


Dorothy Reinhold June 23, 2014 at 6:15 pm

I don’t know! I am not a food scientist or master preserver. Why don’t you ask Linda J. Amendt directly? Reach her through


Michelle D. July 11, 2013 at 12:59 pm

I’m new to canning, but have been successful with blueberry jam and now peach jam. While at the store this morning, I came across some bing cherries and immediately thought about making then into jam. 🙂 Can I use sure gel instead of liquid pectin? I’m really looking forward to making cherry jam! Thanks!


Dorothy Reinhold July 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm

I am not a canning expert by any means, so please follow the directions on the pectin, gel or whatever agent you are using! I do know that the author of this recipe, Linda J. Amendt, IS the expert, and has won 600+ ribbons for her canning, so me? I would follow her recipe to a T. 🙂 Good luck, and you can’t go wrong with cherry jam. Simply the best!


Michelle D. July 21, 2013 at 10:09 am

I did follow the recipe to a T and let me tell you, I was NOT disappointed! This is amazing jam! I’m so glad I came across the recipe and will definitely be making it again AND sharing the recipe!


Rituparna August 21, 2012 at 4:42 am

That jam looks delicious!
What has me worried is pitting all those cherries. I love them, but can I leave the seeds in.


Dorothy August 21, 2012 at 6:59 am

Get a cherry pitter or olive pitter and make fast work of it! (Wear a red or black shirt while you are working with the cherries.) Sorry, no, you can’t leave the pits in. Make this…I KNOW you can do it!


Trish August 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Oh my goodness I just got into canning and this looks SO SO good. I’ve been wondering what to make with cherries. I was thinking brandied cherries, but maybe I could make this instead!


Dorothy August 21, 2012 at 7:00 am

Mmmmm…brandied cherries. Now I might have to get some more and try that!


Wendy @ AMFT August 20, 2012 at 9:36 am

I love that book…I’ve had it for many years and use it all the time!


Dorothy August 20, 2012 at 10:14 am

How great! The author is a friend of mine, and that book is a wonderful resource for all things canning and preserving! Truly, a one-stop authority.


Valentina August 19, 2012 at 10:22 pm

I love “silent little dance!” And YUM!


Elisa August 19, 2012 at 6:58 pm

This sounds like fabulous jam! I’m wondering, is the pectin absolutely necessary? I have all the ingredients, except pectin…


Dorothy August 20, 2012 at 7:15 am

Yes, you need the pectin for the jam to set up.


Miranda June 16, 2013 at 1:16 am

Hi! Tried this recipe but 1/2 cup of lemon left a distinct lemon flavor… Not bad! Just not pure cherry. Anyone else have this happen?


Margo November 20, 2018 at 1:41 pm

I did as well. It still tastes good!


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