We eat a lot of fruit in our house. During the summer, I go to Costco for bulk cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and more. Since we had a big container of cherries, I decided to make a jam. Unfortunately, I had no pectin, so I needed to figure out a way to make a cherry jam recipe without pectin.
What is Pectin and Can You Make Jam without Pectin?
Because many recipes for jams, preserves, and especially jellies call for pectin, I wanted to find out, what exactly is pectin. Pectin is a starch, naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables. This is what gives them their structure. So, when you heat pectin together with sugar and fruit it causes the food to gel.
Now, would I be able to make jam without adding pectin? Read on to find out. But, I’m sure you are thinking why would I bother writing a blog post about how to make cherry jam without pectin if it didn’t work, right?
How to Make Cherry Jam without Pectin
First, you will want to gather a few things together that will make it easier to make the cherry jam. Of course, you will need cherries. I get mine in bulk at Costco in order to save money, but you can also try your local grocery stores or farmer’s markets during cherry season.
To save time, I use a cherry pitter. Mine is a super duper cherry pitter since it can pit 6 cherries at once! Amazon has a variety of discounted cherry pitters here.
Also, you will want to have a deep dish pan and a chilled plate (for testing if the jam is done). Before you start cooking, place small, empty plate in the freezer.
Finally, get your jars ready for canning and storage. Make sure your jars are super clean, sterilized, and warm. You do not want to grow any bacteria in your delicious homemade jam. Wash your jars and lids in hot water, or better yet run them through the dishwasher at the hottest setting. Then, set your oven to 170 degrees or the lowest it will go. Place the jars in the oven to keep them warm. This will prevent the jars from cracking when the hot jam is placed inside.
And now for the recipe you have all been waiting for…
Cherry Jam Recipe without Pectin
If you have always wanted to know how to make cherry jam without pectin, then you have come to right place!
Using this cherry jam recipe without pectin, you can achieve a delicious cherry jam that has the appearance of jam made with pectin. It is a good combination of smooth and chunky. This jam is smooth enough to glide on bread, yet thick enough to keep its shape and allow you to get fresh bites of cherries.
3 cups of cherries,
1 3/4 cups sugar,
juice of 1 lemon,
1) Wash, pit, and cut cherries in half
2) In a pot or deep pan, mix cherries and lemon juice at low heat.
3) Use a potato masher to mash the cherries and cook until they soften, about 5 minutes.
4) Add the sugar to the pot and mix at low heat until the sugar is fully dissolved.
5) Turn up the heat to a low boil for about 10 minutes. Stir continuously so the sugar does not burn.
6) To check if the jam is ready to set, spoon a small amount of jam on your chilled plate. Place the plate back in the freezer for a few minutes. Now, touch the jam. If it is wrinkly and gel-like, you are good to go. If not, boil for a few more minutes and check again.
7) When the jam is ready, remove from heat then carefully pour into jars. If your jars were warming in the oven, then be sure to use an oven mitt or glove to hold the jars while you fill them. Also, make sure to put the lids on very tightly. Then, turn the jars upside down to while you cool in order to seal them.
8) Finally, let the jam cool for about 10 minutes and then place the jars in the refrigerator.
Homemade Cherry Jam without Pectin! Yes, it is possible!
There you go! You might need to give your jam a little bit of time to be finished setting. You should have delicious, beautiful cherry jam without added pectin in a matter of a few days. Mine was ready later that day. Then, you can keep the homemade jam in the refrigerator for about two weeks.
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