Sweet Cherry Rhubarb Jam

July 8, 2015(updated on August 30, 2021)

cherries in colander (1)

When I got my box of fruit from the Washington State Fruit Commission back at the beginning of June, I had grand plans to dedicate a full week to my many delicious cherry creations. And then life got in the way (as it so often does). Instead, I’ve been publishing these tasty things in fits and starts.

measured sliced cherries

Today’s recipe is for a batch of cherry rhubarb jam, made with minimal sugar and set up with Pomona’s Pectin. The combination of cherries and tangy rhubarb make for a preserve that has a really nice balance of sweet and tart.

measured rhubarb

At this point, I must confess I am bereft of words to describe this recipe. The photo shoot for the next book started today (and I still have four more preserves I must make and deliver to the studio), my inbox is clamoring for my attention, and most difficult, my mother-in-law has been in the hospital since Friday night. Oof.

mixed cherries and rhubarb

I would like to point you to some of the other Canbassador projects I’ve posted in the past.

finished cherry rhubarb jam 1

5 from 1 vote

Sweet Cherry Rhubarb Jam

Servings: 4 1/2 pints


  • 3 pounds sweet cherries pitted and chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 2 pounds rhubarb chopped (about 6 cups)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar divided
  • 1 tablespoon calcium water
  • 1 tablespoon Pomona's Pectin


  • Prepare a boiling water bath canner and enough jars to hold 4 1/2 pints.
  • Combine the cherries, rhubarb, 2 cups of sugar, and calcium water in a large, non-reactive pan. Stir to incorporate the sugar. Once it has started to dissolve, place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Cook at a boil (reducing the temperature if need be) for 15 to 20 minutes, until the fruit softens.
  • Once the fruit has started to look jammy, stir the pectin powder into the remaining sugar and whisk it into the cooking fruit.
  • Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until you see the jam starting to thicken. Once you see that, remove the pan from the stove.
  • Funnel the finished jam into the prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
  • When time is up, remove jars from canner and let them cool on a folded kitchen towel.

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19 thoughts on "Sweet Cherry Rhubarb Jam"

    1. It is part of the Pomona’s pectin system. Each box comes with two packets. One contains pectin powder and the other, smaller packet has calcium powder. You mix the calcium powder with some water and add that water to the cooking fruit.

  • Pomona isn’t readily available in my area – is this a preference of yours, can other brands be substituted?

    1. I have only tested this recipe with Pomona’s Pectin, but it is a unique pectin that works differently from any other that I’ve used, so I have no alternate suggestion.

    2. I order Pomona’s pectin by the 6-pack from Amazon. That’s the best price and last year, 6 boxes got me through canning season. Once you start using Pomona’s, you’ll never go back to the other stuff. LHN

  • I was looking up a rhubarb variety called “giant cherry rhubarb” and the last picture from this post came up.I thought “that’s gotta be foodinjars” and sure enough, it was!

  • I made a batch this week. I’m a bit of a cherry fanatic and the thought of adding rhubarb to my favorite fruit definitely piqued my interest. I am very pleased with the results. The perfect balance of sweet and tart… reminiscent of cranberries, and the color is positively stunning. I may have to break down and make one more batch before cherry season flies by!

  • I made this last nite with fresh Cherries and Rhubarb. It did not set and is slightly cloudy-ish. The taste is sort of one note…sweet. Should I have added lemon? I weighed all of my ingredients. These are my 2 favorite ingredients and It made 10 1/2pt and 1pt jar….should I re-work with acid?

    1. I’m really surprised to hear that it did not set. With that much Pomona’s Pectin, it should be quite firm (especially if you boiled it down for the 15-20 minutes that the recipe suggests). Though your yield is almost half again as much as mine, so that could be part of the issue. Typically, I find that the rhubarb brings enough acid to the party that you don’t need additional lemon juice. However, if you’re unhappy with it, you could remake it. I’d suggest you let it sit for a little while before remaking it and taste once it has rested. Sometimes flavors balance themselves out.

  • Ok…I’m wondering if I mistakenly weighed the Cherries after they were pitted. I know the rhubarb is correct but now that you say I have that much more. Also..I was reading it wrong 4 1/2 pts…is 4 half pints…not 4 and a half pints….OMGosh..I think I started this project too late in the evening after a long day. Do you think it is unsafe to keep it cannned….should I freeeze or just make a pie?? LOL Thank You so much for your help!