Cherry Preserves with Honey and Rosemary for the Whole Journeys Challenge + Giveaway

Sweet Cherry Preserves with Honey and Rosemary | Food in Jars

While I was out on the west coast a few weeks back, I got an email from a very nice woman from the Whole Foods Market corporate offices. She was writing because they’ve recently launched a travel company called Whole Journeys and were partnering with bloggers as a way of shining some light on some of their featured trips and destinations.

halved cherries | Food in Jars

In this particular round of promotion, they were inviting a few bloggers to create a preserve would combine seasonal produce with an ingredient from one of the regions visited on a Whole Journeys itinerary.

Despite my crazy schedule, I just couldn’t say no to this very interesting recipe development challenge. Plus, they were kicking in a gift card to cover supplies and another one to give away to a FiJ reader (more about that at the end of the post).

mountain forest honey | Food in Jars

When I got back to Philadelphia, there was a package waiting for me that contained a few jelly jars, a little tub of raw mountain honey, and a sheaf of paper telling me all about the Dolomites, which is a mountain range in the northern Italian Alps.

honey cherry rosemary | Food in Jars

I spent a goodly amount of time wondering what I could make that would be both appropriately Italian and evoke a mountainous region. So much time, in fact, that I missed the challenge deadline and still didn’t have a plan. Oops.

cooking cherries | Food in Jars

Last Thursday, I stopped thinking and started canning. One of the details included in the material they sent was the fact that the Dolomites is known for cheeses, speck (it’s a lovely, smokey cured ham), and wines. I decided to make a preserve that would go nicely with all those things.

dirty pot | Food in Jars

I took 2 1/2 pounds of cherries, split them in half, popped out the pits and piled them in a low wide Dutch oven. I added the honey that had come in my box (it was a 16 ounce jar), along with a fragrant stem of rosemary (I brought a gallon size bag of rosemary clipped from a giant shrub in my parents’ front yard back to Philly with me). I let it sit for a bit, until the honey dissolved and the cherries released some juice.

empty jar | Food in Jars

Once it was juicy, I put the pot on the stove and brought it to a boil. I cooked it at a rapid bubble for about 20 minutes, until the cherries softened and the syrup thickened a bit. I didn’t add any pectin because I wasn’t going for a jam, but instead wanted tender cherries in a rosemary and honey flavored syrup. Towards the end of cooking, I added the juice of one lemon and just a pinch of sea salt, to help sharpen the finished flavor.

spoonful of preserved cherries | Food in Jars

The preserve is a perfect accompaniment for cheese and cured meats, so I think I hit my mark. It’s one that I look forward to cracking open later in the fall when the evenings turn crisp and the days shorten.

Now, the giveaway. I have one $50 gift certificate to send out to one of you. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me what you would have made given the same challenge!
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, July 26, 2014. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, July 27, 2014.
  3. Giveaway open to United States residents only.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

For more about Whole Journeys, check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclosure: Whole Foods Market gave me a gift card to cover the cost of supplies for this challenge (along with a few jars and a little tub of honey) and has also provided the $50 gift card for this giveaway. My thoughts and opinions remain, as always, entirely my own.

Cherry Preserves with Honey and Rosemary

Yield: between 3 and 4 half pints


  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet cherries
  • 16 ounces raw honey
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (about 6-8 inches lont)
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Prepare a boiling water bath canner and enough jars to hold 4 half pints of product.
  2. Wash cherries. Remove stems and pits, and slice in half.
  3. Combine the chopped cherries with the honey and rosemary in a low, wide pan.
  4. Put the pan on the stove and bring to a boil. Cook at a moderate boil, stirring regularly, for 15-20 minutes. The preserve is done when the liquid has thickened into a slow running syrup and the cherries are soft.
  5. Towards the end of cooking, add the lemon juice and salt.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat. Funnel preserves into prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.
  7. When time is up, remove canner from heat and set the lid aside. Let the jars cool gradually in the pot for an additional 10 minutes (this is to prevent any liquid loss).
  8. Remove the jars from the canner and set them on a folded kitchen towel to continue to cool.
  9. When jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals. Rinse the jars to remove any sticky residue.
  10. Sealed jars will keep on the shelf for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.

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240 responses to “Cherry Preserves with Honey and Rosemary for the Whole Journeys Challenge + Giveaway”

  1. I like those little Italian fruit tarts. I would try to figure out how to make a jam that reflected that — berries, grapes, oranges — and I would fail miserably.

  2. Can I stem and pit the cherries now, freeze them, and do the recipe later? Any reason why frozen cherries won’t work as well?

  3. I just made your mixed fruit jam from Food in jars! I’m thinking that instead of the other stone fruit, I would just use cherries, honey, rosemary, and lemon and follow your book. One question though about that recipe, it never says when to add the lemon juice and zest. I added it once I started cooking the jam, which by the way is delicious! Thanks!

  4. Probably would have gone with red raspberries and honey with some kind of herbal twist….maybe lavender? Your cherries sound divine!! I have never heard of speck!

  5. I’d probably make a honey pistachio liqueur. Or maybe honey lavender. Though I do have about six pounds of cherries to use up…

  6. I just bought 2 bags of cherries and was wondering what I would do with them, not having ever done anything with them with the exception of eating them. I was planning on searching for some recipes tomorrow, but I do believe I will be trying your recipe instead.

  7. I’m just getting started with canning and I’ve never been much of a cook, so I probably would have done my usual honey thing, which is to add it to espresso with a bit of heavy cream, or blend it into my greek yogurt with whatever fruit is ripe – peaches, this week. 🙂

  8. I would’ve probably made a honey – cherry preserve, like you did, but I would’ve added some red wine to let it cook down but add the flavor and add an herb of some sort… maybe some orange mint to give it a pop of freshness to balance the depth of the red wine (but I’m not the best at choosing herbs on a whim) 🙂

  9. Something with honey and lemon…like a take on a limoncello maybe? And if you threw in that rosemary or some basil or thyme. I’m thinking a syrup and then making it into a cocktail with lots of ice. We are dying of heat today!

  10. Since the Dolomites are the Northernart of Italy I was thinking of the Alps and the fact they eat heartier meals up there. So I immediately thought of sauerkraut, sweetened with the honey to almost give a sweet and sour kind of thing.
    Or the other one is since there are so many grapes up there do a grape jam made with honey and given some flavor with rosemary.

  11. I recently enjoyed a nice dolomitian(?) wine and would’ve tried to encore orate that into a preserve with apricots and fresh sweet marjoram

  12. The cherry sounds delicious. I would do vidalia onions, pineapple, and lemon thyme with the honey. yum!

  13. The Chinese journey inspires something that mixes tea and citrus, or maybe rosehip jam as it is very citrusy. Fun!

  14. When I think of mountain-y flavors, the first things that come to mind are wild sage and thyme-maybe something with plums and thyme and honey? I think that’d be a nice combination, especially with those little Italian prune plums.

  15. I would have combined the cherries, honey, as well as some sliced peaches then for herbs I would have added sage or the rosemary but not both.

  16. I would use crushed fennel seed or fennel pollen (expensive and hard to find) and reduce the honey by about 1/3, Europeans use less sugar, and especially since you mentioned using the preserve with cheeses and speck. Something similar to the fruit mustards so popular there!

  17. Your recipe looks yummy. I would have probably made honey butter or since I grow figs I would have made a fig spread.

  18. Well, savory pickled condiment seems right on for that region. Love what you did, BUT just to offer another idea…
    Pickled Cherries with Honey, Balsamic, Rosemary and Juniper Berries??????

  19. I know that is have gone for an apple, wild Berry and honey preserve with some of that rosemary as well …
    Seems more in tune with traditional alpine foods.

  20. A cherry vinegar syrup (surprisingly tasty!) using champagne vinegar and blood orange juice to glaze smoked fish or to drizzle on cheese.

  21. My husband’s family comes from out there! In a tiny town up the mountain from bolzano. We were there just last year, and it is the most beautiful area! Apple orchards every where! It was originally Austrian which is why the names of towns have a German version as well as the Italian one.

    That being said, I would have to make an apple chutney! Something to go well with the dough balls (swimming in butter, you can really taste the German influence). An apple chutney with grapes or raisins (his second cousin has a Vinyard casually) , and walnuts as tribute to my husband’s parents who throw them in everything.

    What a fun challenge! It’s making me drool.

  22. Hmm. Maybe apple jalapeño jam except made with Italian roaster peppers (I have some growing but not quite ripe yet) & honey. I think it would go well with cheese.

  23. Im kind of stuck on this cherry/honey/rosemary combo now. To the extent that I think you nailed it 🙂 I also adore your chutney recipe from the other day. Either way, I think cherries, honey……maybe some sweet onions cooked way down…..something to compliment the cheese definitely! Walnuts?

  24. I’m working on perfecting a cherry liqueur. Northwest Cherries and local made Vodka or Bourbon. What could be better? Cheers!

  25. I probably would have made a pomegranate preserve to use as a glaze for ham and using a regional wine and honey. The cherry preserve you made looks wonderful.

  26. Given the ingredients, I think I would have attempted some type of cherry syrup. Or now that I think about it, I wouldn’t mind a cherry infused yogurt drink either. I am not a big fan of rosemary, wine or cheese, so the rosemary would get tossed first. Then I would probably go sweet, although not overly as I am not a big fan of flavored sugar either. Then I’d taste my concoction and more than likely give it away to some family guinea pig!

  27. Your recipe sounds delicious! I am afraid if I had a pil of cherries and some raw honey in front of me, they would have go e straight over ice cream or into a pie. They would not have lasted long enough to can!

  28. I love blueberries with cherries, so I would probably make a jam using them; the blueberries in my yard are ripening as we speak. Add a little honey to the mix, and I bet it would go great with some good cheese. I’m thinking a nice strong cheese like horseradish cheese that could stand up to the sweetness of the jam.

  29. Your combination sounds awesome – don’t think I would want to change what is already perfect. Can’t wait to make some. And I think I will mix a batch of homemade ice cream and spoon this awesome cherry, honey and rosemary syrup over it.

  30. I love seasonal blueberries and peaches combo in pies now, and so would make those two in a jam with the honey and turned into a tart filling on a winter’s day.

  31. Honestly; I haven’t a clue, but first thing to come to mind was apple/pear butter
    Thank you on the wonderful giveaway opportunity

  32. I would do a white peach, ginger and raw honey. Just got some picked from neighbors yard. Or Apple Honey applesauce. Great giveaway. Thanks

  33. I would have done something with figs, honey and ? — I am about to go pick some figs this weekend!!!

  34. Instead of regional foods, I keep thinking about the terrain of northern Italy. A simple granola for when hiking to one’s mountain picnic, with some kind of (regional) wine chutney to mix in? Stone fruit, a little Italian apple, winter preserved meyer lemon for citrus and to salt the sweet fruit, maybe some cooked onion. (I’m employing less of a sound preserving strategy and more just throwing it in the pot so hiking can commence sooner.) But bonus if it works with polenta!

    I wonder how cherries would do in a sauerkraut.

  35. I picked up 16 pounds of peaches over the weekend, so it would be something like peach butter or peach jam, sweetened with honey.

  36. Do they grow other fruits in that region of Italy? I have never tried to create my own recipe, but I would think a honey fruit butter would be perfect with that raw honey… Possibly even a honey cherry butter, but I’d be open to any kind of regional fruit.

  37. I think I would try my fig and caramelized onion jam with the honey. It pairs wonderfully with cheeses and meats!

  38. I have no idea, but I just made lovely raspberry honey preserves with a recipe that I got from… you, of course. Oh and also, Saturday is my birthday 😛

  39. The first thing that came to mind was a Genovese basil pesto, but since they gave you the honey I would turn it into a basil pesto dressing to go over a tomato and sliced cheese salad. Or perhaps on an Italian sandwich.

  40. I think my starting point would be apricots with that honey… not sure what else I’d throw in there just yet.

  41. Since I am in cucumber overload and pickling my little heart out, I would have done a honey-balsamic pickled figs, with some rosemary or thyme. And then I would have it with some sharp, stinky Italian cheese and a glass of pinot noir, and be a very happy camper.

  42. I have access to a fig tree in my area for free and would make my
    fig jam with orange peel and honey. I’ve never tried it with honey,. I
    think it would taste good.

  43. What you made was perfect–I especially think the rosemary was apt. Thinking about charcuterie and smoky flavors, I might have gone with a fragrant rosemary apple butter.

  44. Rosemary and honey are a marriage made in heaven…so…I would do something very similar to what you did. Maybe with peaches since they seem to be everywhere. Perhaps some balsamic added. Slap some on a piece of toast with some brie. Yummy, yummy in my tummy.

  45. I’ve been thinking about mustard of late, so I probably would have tried some sort of honey mustart fruit chutney.

  46. I’m just learning to can and have never developed a recipe well. But I’d use the honey on my toast with cherries in my yogurt. I love your blog thanks. It’s fun learning with your ideas/directions.

  47. It would be something that contains raw honey. My employer raises bees, so I am well stocked with honey.

  48. The first thing I thought of (perhaps because, to my delight, I found a jar of it on a high shelf in my pantry last night) is the pear mostarda recipe from your new cookbook. You were kind enough to share a copy with me last year after I tasted it at one of your demonstrations. I have offered the pear mostarda on more than one cheese board over the past year, always with great success.

  49. I was given a batch of rhubarb recently and stuck it in the freezer until I had time to do something with it. A few years ago, a neighbor gave me some lovely strawberry-rhubarb jam with lavender that was delicious. I may try and copy that after I get done with the abundance of tomatoes and cucumbers I’ve got right now!

  50. I am into trying new ways to preserve with honey… have been doing it for years, and incorporating rosemary sounds heavenly!

  51. I love everything in this jar. I would pick coastal croatia and make a sour cherry butter, maybe with some almond extract! Or a honeyed plum butter?

  52. Whenever I think of Italy, I remember on my honeymoon eating the most delicious figs dripping with local honey, so would probably do a honey fig “cheese”!

  53. I am NOT experienced at the recipe development thing, but I would have gone with honey and lemon sauce of some form- maybe a dressing or dip?? Love the sound of the yumminess you created!

  54. I would use the honey as the sweetener in a blueberry mustarda which would have (much like your recipe here) a nice balanced earthy brightness to complement cheese and cured meats. It also has the bonus of being able to be made with ingredients local to both the Dolomites and the east coast of the US (where I live).

  55. I read that polenta is “the bread of the Dolomites.” One of my favorite recipes is to make polenta toast with dried fruit chutney (cherries, cranberries, apricots) and serve with spicy chicken sausage and garlicky white bean dip as an appetizer. It is so good! (It’s also a lot of work, which is why my family doesn’t get it very much!) 🙂

  56. Sounds wonderful. My garden is filled with heirloom cherry tomatoes which I have been drying and now I am thinking of a tomato jam or preserves. Adding honey, mmmmm, sounds wonderful.

  57. I really love this combination and i think it would be really fabulous with some sharp aged sheeps milk cheese. If I were given the same challenge…I’d probably try something with sharp little apples and juniper berries, maybe even liqueur sweetened with the honey.

  58. I just made your recipe but with a few changes. I also used 2 cups black rasberries in mine and lemon zest as that was all I had left to a lemon. I had some left over juice from this lucious preserve that I hated to waste, so I sat down with a bowl of granola and poured the juice right over it, YUMMY!

  59. Not sure it would count as a preserve, but I think I would make some kind of honey/citrus dressing for a salad.

  60. Hmm…I think you nailed it on the pairing with cheese and wine! Maybe I would have tried a herbed mustard with a touch of mountain honey to go with that regional ham. 🙂

  61. Your recipe sounds so good! My Grandma was from northern Italy and growing up she always made a spiced plum jam. It was amazing and I wish I had the recipe. So I would make something with plums and spices to try to replicate that.

  62. I’m thinking along the lines of a nectarine-honey preserve or granola with dried cherries. How these relate to the Dolomites, I’m not so sure. Your solution certainly fulfills the criteria better!

  63. When I first read this, I thought cherry-thyme-honey, somehow. That’s still Mediterranean, right? Although I’m sure rosemary is a bit more accurate to that region….

    Then I realized that the cherries were your idea, not part of the box! And I doubt I would have thought of them. I associate honey with things like pears, which are not in season and hence a horrible choice. Hmm.

  64. The Dolomites make a very good apple strudel so I would use the honey with apples, sultanas, pine nuts and some rum, vanilla, cinnamon, and lemon zest for flavouring. This sounds like it would be really good on a cheese board or in an actual quick strudel using canned filling!

    However, your recipe is on my to do list!!!

  65. I would have perhaps gone with a wine infused dipping sauce of some sort. Or perhaps make a honey infused cordial? Italy brings to mind a certain state of mind: bread, family around the table, & wine cups always full!

  66. Your cherry/honey/rosemary concoction sounds delicious. Cherries are just coming into season here in Wisconsin, so I might just make it!

    If I had a similar challenge, I’d look at cherries, as you did, or high bush cranberries. High bush cranberries are different from the bog-grown kind and are often found in mountainous areas.

    In fact, I used some of my own spiced cranberry jam with grilled chicken the other night. Preserves in action: it was delicious, and had a side dish of fresh steamed green beans. I love summer’s fresh produce!

  67. I probably would have baked something with the honey. Like some spiced ginger biscotti I have a recipe for… somewhere.

  68. I would have made a fig and honey preserve – with some fresh thyme or marjoram infused at the end. Local cherries are finished for the season here, but this recipe is being pinned for next year…

  69. These cherries sound amazing! Such a delight. As for the challenge…does some sort of liqueur count as a preserve? Because I bet you could do something super interesting with an apricot and rosemary vodka infusion (or maybe a mix of vodka and brandy?) plus honey simple syrup. Now I may have to try that. 🙂 I don’t know if it’s quite mountainous enough, but apricots must be a thing in southern Italy, right? Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  70. I’m into pickled carrots, so I think I would have tried spicy pickled carrots sweetened with the honey. Yum!

  71. I think a compote of fig, cherries, shallots and honey would be delicous. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  72. Definitely something fig. I usually make Fig Ouzo and Fig Amaretto soft jams. So how about Honeyed Fig Amaretto jam. Amaretto’s Italian, right?

  73. I was thinking of your strawberry/vanilla bean jam. I also have a friend who just entered her cherry marmalade, and her apricot jalapeño jam with pieces of red and green bell pepper in the California State Fair, and has already won several prize ribbons!

  74. All the honey, pears with lemon lime basil in a half preserve/half syrup style concoction. Bright and sweet to compliment all the flavors that region has to offer.

  75. maybe a fruity sauerkraut; i really don’t know, i don’t cook much 🙂

  76. I have always thought that at some point in my life I’d like to try to make mead – a honey-based alcoholic drink- and there’s a recipe out there for a fruit-based mead (aka melomel) that I thought sounded wonderful. The ingredients for this “Super Berry Melomel” are Wildflower Honey, a Triple Berry Mix (of frozen Blackberries, Raspberries, and Blueberries), fresh Strawberries, and Black Currant Juice along with yeast and water. I think making a jam with these same ingredients (minus yeast & water) would also be delicious!

  77. Hi Marissa,
    I think I would have made a dark cherry rosemary shrub!
    But I know I am going to make some little 4oz jars of these preserves also.

    But I have a question…
    What is the value of mixing fruit with honey first, versus adding the honey to the cooking fruit?

    And, I routinely have few jars done with the recipe than you. Could this be the size of my pan requiring longer cooking? Could it be the adding the honey as the fruit cooks? I was curious.


  78. Honestly, I have no idea what I would make for that challenge…probably something overly complicated that would have turned out so-so.

    Question about the preserves…do I just fish out the rosemary stems when it’s ready to jar? I’d assume, but just wanted to check. Thanks!

  79. Elderberries grow in the Dolomites so maybe an elderberry jam sweetened with honey would be good. 🙂

  80. I have a Nesco dehydrator and have never tried drying cherries – I’d love to try it! I would want to have some of them fresh, too! I’d make a buttery lattice-topped cherry pie and add some of the dehydrated cherries to amp up the flavor!

  81. So I’m a little obsessed with the amazing blackberries here in the Mid-Atlantic. I love a little anise with them, so maybe a cordial-ish blackberry preserve using some sambuca and for a complementary herbal note — some tarragon? I think I’d put a bit of cracked black pepper in there too.

    I imagine this would be nice with chevre on a cracker. Or to finish a pan sauce after searing off some duck breasts. Oh man, now I might have to actually go and make this!!

  82. I’m looking forward to trying your cherry recipe (my CSA overfloweth with cherries!)……I would have incorporated the honey into something peachish….perhaps with some thyme….or something….. I agree with you–something to go with the cheese and wine!

  83. I tend to pair seasonal fruit with different teas that I collect from all the countries that I visit. Its great fun and makes for some unique blends!

  84. That’s a tricky one! I don’t know much about mountainous regions, having mostly lived in the Midwest and coastal Sweden. But I think I would have used the honey to bake some sort of simple, buttery, crispy cookie (or even biscotti) to dunk in the wine! Your flavor combination of cherries and rosemary would have made a good cookie, too!

  85. One of the journeys is to Turkey ( I would not mind winning one of those trips by the way) What that trip would inspire me to make is a apricot sumac glaze. It think it would be perfect for both meats and tofu.

  86. I could never have come up with something this yummy – which is why I am reading your blog & not the other way around. :o) There is a Whole Foods opening my area soon so I would love to win this. I’ve never shopped in one before.

  87. I have two huge bushes of basil and I usually make pesto for the year but I might try some honey with ginger and basil. Has anyone tried this mix?

  88. I learned (on Wikipedia) that the regions surrounding the Dolomites are famous for beans, Piave cheese, and apples, so it would be nice to incorporate some of those ingredients– perhaps in a salad with the honey featured in the dressing.

  89. That’s a tough one… I guess something with wine in it, because Italian stuff doesn’t usually bring a lot of fruits to mind outside of wine grapes… Honey and wine would probably need a third fruity flavor to bring it together, though, and cherries would probably have worked 🙂 Plums might work, too… Oh wait, is quince from close to or around that region? Maybe honeyed quince jam…

  90. I like the idea of using cherries for the challenge in honor of the Amarena cherries from Modena. I would also suggest using Italian Alpine honey, Siciilian Pizzuta almonds for real almond tastiness plus a splash of Limoncello liquor from the Amalfi Coast to brighten up the whole mixture.

  91. I just bought a huge bag of cherries – they were on sale. I also have some honey I bought at a farmers’ market this last week-end. I will use Marisa’s recipe to make this yummy sounding preserve. Oh, and for the challenge, I will try honey-sweetened fig jam ( right now, I also have a lot of fig fruits in my front yard tree begging to be picked and put to good use ).

  92. I was thinking figs, apples, honey and a splash of lemon juice. The pictures of the Dolomites sound amazing!

  93. Sounds simply divine! I never thought to preserve sweet cherries. Wonderful use of a delicious fruit!

  94. Dandelion sweet compote or Blueberry jam sweetened with honey and a tab of fresh ground cinnamon and homemade vanilla. We have an abundance of dandelions, blueberries and local honey in our area. These items we share in kind to the Dolomite Alps.

  95. I would make my raspberry jelly. I steam the juice and all of the flavor out of the berries. It is heavenly! Using honey instead of sugar would make it more heavenly!

  96. I think I’d make a not-too-sweet onion jam to go with the cheeses and German-style breads I see listed on Dolomite-related food sites. In order to use up all the honey, I’ll bet it would be a moderately big batch.

  97. This recipe sounds amazing. I think I would have made a preserve with figs and the cherries, perhaps adding some basil as well. I do love a good fig recipe. Thank you for sharing!

  98. I am so in awe of all of you. I have never actually canned or preserved anything but am hugely interested. My friend sent me the link the Food In Jars and all I have been doing is reading posts. So, quite frankly, I don’t know what I would make. For what it is worth, I just read about herb infused honey… that seems easy enough for a newbie like me. Is that a fair thing to post?

  99. I love to dehydrate all kinds of things, including fruit, and this spring I dried strawberries. I would make creamed (or spun) honey, and when it sets up, I’d powder the strawberries in the blender and add it to the creamed honey. I would love to try it with blueberries and blackberries and raspberries, too! I give creamed cinnamon honey butter as Christmas gifts to my friends. Maybe this year it will be creamed strawberry honey!

  100. Those jars are gorgeous! If I were to dream up a jam for that challenge I’d try to include figs! Fig jam paired with ciabatta and a good cheese…yum!

  101. As I was reading, I was wondering how a deep, fruity red wine and a splash of balsamic vinegar would pair with rest of the ingredients. Some thing to add a bit of depth to the sweet but still allow the rosemary to come through…. hmmmmm…. now where can I get cherries??

  102. Great creation Marisa! Would be great not only on cheese but perhaps with game meats, which I understand are big in the Dolomites. With that in mind, perhaps a sweet savory jam (cherry onion sage?)

  103. I luv your savory/sweet idea…I think I would have added some cocoa powder and chili powder to make a spicy jam…yum!

  104. I could easily repeat the sweet cherry chutney… But will try this rosemary cherry preserve recipe next…fabulous ideas

  105. i think i would have gone with an onion jam with herbs. but i love the cherry jam with rosemary idea so much, i’m eyeing the bag of cherries in the fridge.

  106. M-

    Can’t improve on your recipe. I’ve slipped across the border into italy and visited the dolomites (beautiful+++++) several times while vacationing in Germany. The entire mountain regions of Germany, Austria, and Italy love cherries, cherry jam, cherry juice, cherry liquor…etc. Your recipe is perfect!!!.

    Jam Bubba

  107. I have an entire counter of peaches right now so I would have probably gone for a peach/vanilla butter to slather with cheese and croissants. I have peach butter on the brain at the moment…..:))

  108. If I were given similar ingredients I think I would make a cherry BBQ sauce with herbs. Something that would go with chicken or pork on the grill.

  109. Great choice in recipe. I have been wanting to make jams that are honey sweetened so I probably would have taken this opportunity to make “Honey sweetened cherry jam”.

  110. I would have used the honey and rosemary to make a brine for salmon and then hot smoke it. I would have used the cherries to make a compote to go on top of it.

  111. Wild mountain blueberries with raw honey and balsamic vinegar of which Italians are fond in combo with fruit. Thanks for the giveaway!

  112. For some reason black raspberries is what I would want to use here. I don’t think they are Italian at all, but I haven’t canned with them and maybe that’s the inspiration.

  113. I would make a strawberry thyme jam recipe that is sweetened with honey. I’ve had my eye on it for a while, but I haven’t gotten around to making it.

  114. What a fun challenge! I would make some kind of chutney using the honey as a sweetener…maybe Italian plum chutney?

  115. I love the Whole Journeys concept. I’ve personally arranged my travels always to intercept with farming (my profession) research, and eating. Research? Yes! I’m also a beekeeper, so honey is close to my heart. I might have taken the easy route for this one, and simply soaked the fruit in the honey, and served them with lavender and thyme flowers on some (homemade) sweet cream ice cream. Thanks!

  116. Cherry jam with honey and a touch of balsamic (just enough to accentuate the flavor of the cherries) I’d probably use Pomona’s as well. Thank you!

  117. I would grill up some polenta and top it with some local veggies. Add some reduced wine glaze and of course a glass to drink on the side!

  118. I’m a novice canner, having just started a week ago–really appreciate the information and recipes on your website/blog–thanks! For this contest, I would have used the honey in a caramelized onion, tomato, and balsamic vinegar compote. The honey adds a sweetness and balanced the vinegar and garlic-great on crusty bread! One of my two recipes this week; looking forward to many more!

  119. I once made a failed lemon honey jelly…used the resulting syrup for sweetening tea. I’d like to try that one again.

  120. The honey and cherry with rosemary recipe sounds lovely. I plan to try this. My son is a beekeeper so keeps me supplied with honey. I think I would have tried a combination of strawberries, honey and reduced balsamic to make an ice cream sauce.

  121. I would make a slightly thick sauce with champagne vinegar, the honey, and possibly fresh basil (I’d have to taste test it as I went along

  122. Fresh Strawberry Salad Dressing using the Honey, Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil with a pinch of Sea Salt and Crushed Black Pepper.

    The Salad Dressing would be served over a Spinach Salad of Strawberries, Gorgonzola Cheese and Chicken that had been marinated in Balsamic Vinegar and Rosemary then grilled to perfection.

  123. Very new to canning so not an expert, but canning a spiced peach mixture with the honey would be divine!

  124. As I live at 9000′, and the cherries from a few thousand feet down are showing up in our farmers market, I too would have made something yummy and savory-sweet like this preserve. Yum.

  125. you definitely hit the mark with this preserve. i would’ve tried to modify my grandmother’s cherry conserve recipe (by using the honey instead of sugar). pickled cherries might go well with cheese and speck also, but those recipes don’t use any honey/sugar.

  126. I like pairing herbs with fruit, so rosemary with anything sounds lovely. I haven’t tried substituting honey for sugar though, that will be something new to try.

  127. Love all the great ideas….so inspiring to me.
    I am obsessed with apricots at the present time
    apricot honey jam on my mind with some fresh herbs

  128. Your method is very similar to making Mostarda, the Italian condiment used for Bollito Misto (boiled meats) – I would have added 40g. mustard seeds (yellow & brown in equal proportions) plus 40g. ground mustard seeds to the mix. If you’re lucky enough to be able to find Italian Mustard Oil, a few drops of that at the end would make a sublime condiment for all things boiled and meaty 🙂

  129. Thanks for the opportunity! (hit send accidentally) – I think you hit the mark pretty square on the head. Another idea would have been a similar pear chutney with apples to add some crispness.

  130. Yum! I’d make a preserve with the cherries, port, sage and the honey. To be used either with the Dolomite cheeses or as a glaze for some wild game or roast chicken.

  131. I would make raspberry, rosemary, balsamic vinegar spread if I had to do something different from yours–it sounds great!

  132. I’d make the Muscadine Plum chutney with pecans that my two aunts made when I was growing up. The fruit and nuts came from their own garden. It was wonderful with pork or ham. Now that I’ve remembered it, I’m going to have to try and find a recipe.

  133. Not sure I could improve on your use of cherries, but with tomatoes coming on strong, and given how much we do love everything tomato, a compote, jammy, chutney sort of thing sounds quite good.

  134. I might have attempted a grape/wine jelly…but I love cherry preserves! I think that this would be lovely with some cheese and ham!!

  135. I might have chopped the cherries and drizzled with the honey and a few thyme blossoms and slow roasted them until the fruit softened. Then I might have slathered it on a wheel of brie and then wrapped it in puff pastry and baked it until the scent drew my neighbors into the street with longing and then they might dance and wave baguettes until I served them some…

  136. Mmmm. I love the idea you came up with. Another thought might be pickling something (shallots?) in balsamic vinegar to go along with an Italian version of a pub lunch.

  137. While reading your recipe the thought of apricots, thyme and honey came to mind. Our apricots are finished for the year, but I will keep it in mind for next season. It reminds me of stilton cheese.

  138. My daughter encourages me at least once a year to make cranberry mustard (she loves it on ham). I think I could convince her that cherries would be a lovely substitution in a cherry honey mustard.

  139. I’ve been thinking of canning cherries – this post is perfect! Can’t wait to try it! I’ve recently discovered your blog and made your raspberry jam today, although I used 2.5c pear with 5.5c raspberries – still turned out divine!) Sadly, I don’t have your creative talent – your choice sounds perfect to me!

  140. Apples are one of the regions local specialties. I’d like to try mixing the honey with apples to create a preserve/chutney which is infused with juniper berries. Uses regional produce and plays on the Germanic heritage of the region

  141. I live in Northern Michigan and the timing of your recipe was perfect. I bought cherries at the local stand, cut a sprig of rosemary from the pot, and it was game on. The result is delicious. I removed the rosemary before ladling into jars- the flavor was definitely there, and the sprig had gone limp. The preserve is definitely savory, and I can’t wait to break it out with some goat cheese…Thank you for a terrific recipe.

  142. I love the combination of ingredients because they do pair well with the ingredients of the region. I have a very old fashioned way of pitting the cherries that saves lots of time. Splitting with a knife takes forever! Get a hairpin (yes, they still sell them) and insert into the stem end and pull. The pit comes right out.

  143. I just picked cup my CSA shares of dark cherries at our local farmers market. Originally I was going to make a dark rum cherry bounce…….but now………this sounds great too! thanks for all the recipes and ideas…Love this site!!

  144. Thanks for looking in my refrigerator and posting accordingly 🙂 I have the cherries, honey and rosemary hanging out in a container in the frig right now waiting to be cooked tomorrow.

    I doubt I could improve on your idea, but I like the idea of doing some plums and honey in a chunky jam.

  145. I know I’m late – what can I say – I tried this but used a whole lime (as I like the tartness) I bundled rosemary, thyme and basil & 10 cardamom seeds (what’s in my planters) and 1/4 cup of vanilla infused balsamic vinegar……..I spooned some on ice cream before canning………OMGoodness.

  146. […] this year and one of my favorite canning blogs, Food in Jars had a wonderful recipe for Cherry Preserves with Honey and Rosemary and wouldn’t you know it, cherries were all over the place at last weeks farmers’ […]

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