Small Batch Sweet Cherry Lime Jam

July 2, 2018(updated on August 30, 2021)

To kick off Cherry Week, I’m sharing my small batch recipe for Cherry Lime Jam. This is the recipe I demonstrated last week during my livestream with Jenny from The Domestic Wildflower. This little batch cooks up in 15 minutes and yields two half pints with a little leftover for immediate eating. The flavor of the limes helps balance the intensity of the cherries and makes for a very tasty PB&J.

You can get the recipe and watch the livestream after the jump!

5 from 3 votes

Small Batch Sweet Cherry Lime Jam


  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet cherries pitted
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • zest from 1 lime
  • juice from 2 limes


  • Prepare a boiling water bath canner and two half pint jars.
  • Combine the cherries and sugarin a low, wide, non-reactive pan.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, stirring regularly and occasionally mashing with a potato masher until thick (12-18 minutes, depending on the height of the heat and the width of your pan). Towards the end of cooking, add the lime zest and juice.
  • Funnel into the prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
  • When the time is up, remove the jars and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. When the jars have cooled enough that you can comfortably handle them, check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.

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33 thoughts on "Small Batch Sweet Cherry Lime Jam"

  • This jam sounds lovely. I might have to whip up a batch or two for Christmas-time use in pecan thumbprint cookies…

  • Sounds like a great recipe, thank you. I have two suggestions, for those new to canning, specify that the processing time should begin when the water bath is boiling. Also when the timing is complete, removing the canner from the burner, remove the lid and wait for five minutes before removing the jars from the water. Doing this increases the probability of the jars sealing.
    Thank you for promotimg safe food preservation.

  • Today I adapted your recipe slightly to use in my Ball Jam/Jelly maker, since they seemed similar enough. I used Ball Jam/Jelly maker Sweet Cherry Jam recipe, but substituted 2 Tbsp. lime juice & added zest of one lime to batch as well. Made 4 half pts. It is THE BOMB! Thank you so very much!!!!

  • Hi Marisa! Leaving a question here instead of messaging you, because it seems like it might be generally useful…

    So I’ve browsed a few of your cherry-jam recipes and comments, but pardon me if you’ve covered this somewhere that I’ve missed. What I’m super-curious about is why I haven’t found any jam recipes that call for cooking the cherries WITH pits – since now I’m reading all about that stone fruit/cherry pit almond-y flavor! — then pitting them when soft? Aside from infusing the jam with that almond-y flavor (maybe?), it also seems like it’s easier to pit them when soft.

    I did do that yesterday – cook THEN pit – for a gelee for a tart, but that’s different than jam…

    1. I do sometimes cook the cherries lightly before making a preserve, in order to be able to pinch out the pits. Most of the time, it’s just easier to remove the pits before cooking. I don’t find that they impart much of an almond flavor when cooked, though. Typically you need to smash or crush the pits to extract that flavor and it needs to infuse for a longer period of time.

      1. Thanks! Cooking a little does make pitting them easier, but you’re right after cooking a couple batches of purée this weekend, I didn’t notice much almond flavor… now I just have to attempt smashing the leftover pits to infuse vodka. ?

        1. I have done this; my ratios are 2 cups of vodka for the pits of at least 2 pounds of cherries (this works well in a pint canning jar). I recommend placing the pits in a zipper-lock plastic bag, or they will squirt everywhere when bashing then. Also, a standard hammer works better than a meat mallet, due to the smaller surface area, you get more force per pit. Also, you’re best tapping the pits enough to crack open the outer pit shell without smashing up the central pit kernel, or you may have some challenges when it comes time to filter your finished product. Also, if you leave a bit of the flesh on the pits when you infuse, the vodka takes on a lovely pinkish hue and you get a bit of cherry essence along with the almond flavor. I like to let the mix infuse for about 4 months, and feel free to add more pits as you go.

          1. Laura, thanks so much for the tips!! Helpful to know! I was assuming a ziplock bag would be necessary, heh… And all I have is a hammer (not a meat mallet), so phew. OK, exciting possibilities here!

            And Marisa, I made this jam last night! It tastes *great*, so I am really excited about having it. Although I’m having such trouble getting cherry jams to set! (I also made a batch of the sour cherry/bourbon preserves, but let it overbake & start to taste burned while I was adding pectin, so I composted it.)

            I tried to follow everything in your Canning 101 post re getting jam to set:
            – used 1:1 fruit to sugar (around 1 1/4lb, just how a qt shook out)
            – temp above 212F
            – wide sauté pan
            I ended up adding 2 tsp of pectin (Sure Jell is what I had, although I know you said it can be less effective), and I honestly think it still hasn’t set although I was scarred by the sour cherry batch I let cook too long, took it off the oven, and will wait to see what happens in 24-48 hours.

            I don’t necessarily mind changing expectations – and will label this as ‘syrup’ for a pint I give away! – but I was hoping for PB&J as you mentioned! I just got some nice artisan almond butter… So I will have to do some kind of dipping situation, heh.

  • Hi Marissa! I’ve just made this recipe and it is fabulous! Recently purchased Preserving by the Pint and I’m looking forward to trying many more of your small batch recipes.

  • Have made this recipe twice…it is delicious! Going to make a third batch tonight. The best flavor and super easy…thanks for another wonderful recipe!

  • If I doubled this recipe and still not need pectin? I have my cherries pitted and ready to go. Can’t wait to try this!

    1. If you double this batch, you will need pectin. It’s the small batch size and short cooking time that allows you to skip the pectin.

  • I made this in my 5qt dutch oven. After adding the lime juice it took a few more minutes to cook. Before canning it had a stronger lime flavor and seemed a little thin. However the finished (cooled) jam in a perfect soft set with a hint go lime. We prefer sour cherry. This will make good jam & cream cheese turnovers this winter.

  • I have a question.. I bought cherries to make jam.. but, I am running out of time.. can I pit them .. freeze them and then still make this recipe? What would be the outcome?

  • I’m beginning to switch my jam and baking over to measuring by weight and am having some difficulty getting information for cherries. If I start with 1.5 pounds of cherries what will they weigh AFTER pitting (approximately, of course)?L

  • I had 5 pounds of cherries in the fridge that were on their last leg. It was late at night but I managed to pit them all, make a batch of jam with some, and stick the rest in the freezer. I also just froze the jam rather than processing it, because it was so late. Can I just say how yummy this jam turned it? It was really so easy and now I can still enjoy the cherries now that the season has passed. I also lemon instead of lime because that’s what I had on hand. Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe!

  • Made this! I did double it since we picked 17 lbs of cherries today.

    The jam didn’t thicken – that happens to me sometimes. Still really good flavor.

    1. You can’t double small batch, no additional pectin jams like this one and expect to get them to set. It only sets in very small batches, because the batch size allows you to cook the sugar up to the gel phase while the natural pectin in the fruit is still available. But if you’re happy with it as-is, double away!

  • Made this to use up the few extra Spanish Picota Cherries from all the other recipes I made from your books.
    This is a wonderful, mixed flavour jam. I will remember it next year and make it with super fresh cherries, rather than the last few at the end of the season.
    Not sharing my one cup of this yummy jam!

  • 5 stars
    Last year I had about 10oz of super ripe cherries leftover. I was at the end of my canning rope and my cupboard was almost full. I really don’t like to waste food, especially something like cherries. Finding this recipe I dug in the back of the fridge for a lime. Cherry lime huh… we’ll see.
    I adjusted it for the amount of cherries I had and prayed hard. This turned out to be the best jam I made all season, although the Raspberry/Strawberry Jalapeno and the Blueberry Maple and the Blackberry Blueberry Vanilla (we called this Black and Blue Vanilla and was a lovely accident) were close behind.
    Everyone wants this on their toast at breakfast or their ice cream after dinner. The deep rich cherry flavour is well matched with the bright, fresh flavour of the limes.
    Oh yes- and I was out of cane sugar and substituted coconut- it didn’t set up as firmly and it was lovely. Got eaten too fast to see how long it would last with this change.
    Good one Marissa. Of the many recipes of yours that I enjoy, this one is at the top of the favourite list.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with this recipe. I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed it so much! Truly, it makes my heart glad.

  • 5 stars
    Just made my 6th batch, and this stuff is out-of-this-world! Easy and delicious, and will be in my holiday goodie packages again this year, back by popular demand!

    I use frozen sweet cherries from Publix, and go heavy on the zest and juice of 2 limes. We love the sweetness and pronounced tang.

    Just had the several tablespoons of excess on crackers and cream cheese. YUM! Will try on goat cheese next. Thank you for such a great recipe and tutorial.