Hot Pack Spiced Cherry Preserves

These spiced cherry preserves are a tasty way to put up this most precious of summer fruit. Sweet, spicy, and tender, they’re a good companion for breakfast, cheese plates, and dessert!

Last Thursday, a big box of sweet cherries arrived from the nice folks from the Northwest Cherry Growers. I’ve slowly been working through them (look for black raspberry and cherry jam, cherry and meyer lemon marmalade, and more coming at you soon) and on Monday night, I used three pounds for my Facebook Live demo.

These preserved cherries (pitted but left whole) are simmered in a syrup that’s been spiced with cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and black peppercorns. They soften and slump, but retain enough texture that they’re a good companion for cheese plates, yogurt parfaits, and damp slices of buttery poundcake. I think you’ll like them!

Hot Pack Spiced Cherry Preserves

Yield: makes 2 pints


  • 3 pounds cherries, washed, stemmed and pitted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon stick bits (buy them from Penzeys or crush a cinnamon stick with a rolling pin)
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 star anise pieces


  1. Prepare a boiling water bath canner and 2 pint jars.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, and star anise. Place over high heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Once the syrup reaches a boil and the sugar is fully dissolved, add the cherries. Return the liquid to a boil and reduce the heat to medium high.
  4. Cook the cherries for 8 to 10 minutes, until they are fully cooked with liquid.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, evenly divide the cooked cherries between the jars. Take care to remove the star anise pieces as you work, so that they don't overwhelm the flavor of the cherries. Top with liquid, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Use a wooden chopstick to remove any trapped air bubbles and adjust the headspace, as necessary.
  6. Wipe the rims, apply lids and rings, and process the jars in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.
  7. When time is up, remove the jars from the canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. Let them rest for a few days before eating, so that the flavors can mellow and mingle.

Related Posts:

9 responses to “Hot Pack Spiced Cherry Preserves”

  1. Oh, these sound wonderful. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I’m hoping to come across some cherries here soon. I’d love to try this, and make some of my grandma’s pie filling and brandied cherries. Starting a jar of tutti frutti with them would be a fun project as well. The cherries I found earlier in the summer got eaten so fast, that nothing got made!.

  2. They sound yummy! Love the star anise. If I wanted to process them in half pints, would the time be 10 minutes?

  3. Just made this recipe. It’s not your grandma sauce. It’s so yummy and upscale taste. Can hardly wait to try on pound cake. Love the spicey fruity taste.

  4. I can’t wait to try this, just need to get a cherry pitter. You mentioned you use the Oxo brand in your Facebook live on this topic, I love Oxo! Hoping my local store has one or else, to online shopping I go. 🙂 Thanks for continuing to do the Facebook Lives, I’m really enjoying them.

  5. I’ve been looking forward to the Cherry & Meyer Lemon marmalade recipe since you posted this- will it be coming soon? I have pitted cherries in the freezer ready to go for it. Always love your recipes! 🙂

  6. I made this yesterday, and I can’t wait to break them out at christmas and make some black forest cake/brownies. I had left over syrup after I filled my jars, I strained it and have been mixing it with club soda as a homemade spiced cherry soft drink (would work as a great mixer too!).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Partners

    Fillmore Container banner ad EcoJarz banner ad Awareness Lift banner ad McDonald paper banner ad
  • %d bloggers like this: