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Fresh Homemade Cherry Jam With Orange Zest and Chia Seeds

OK, I will be honest with you, I was a little worried about making this recipe because, well, I have never done it before, but, let me tell you, I will never buy cherry jam in a jar ever again! This was super easy to put together and the flavor is amazing! I think everyone should have cherry jam as a summer breakfast staple in their home! Keep reading and I will prove just how easy and delicious this recipe is that you will be jamming all your fruits! 

Finished homemade cherry jam.

Don’t Be Afraid To Jam

I am so please with how this all came together, it was very simple and so delicious. The fresh cherries really pop with a hint of orange. Plus, this is an awesome food item you could can and save for a later date. You could even make it completely organic and free of any type of preservatives. Trust me you’re going to want to make this cherry jam.

Do You Need Any Special Tools To Make This Jam?

Well, it depends on what you would like to do with this jam. For the actual making of the jam, I would suggest that you get yourself a cherry pitter. It makes the process much more efficient. Now of course if you wanted to can your jam you would need special canning tools, jars, and pots. But today I decided to keep what I have in my fridge because it’s that delicious I know we will eat it right up! 

Is Making Jam A Super Long Process?

This was one of my questions as I was doing my own research. And truthfully it is a longer process, but that being said it was by no means a difficult process! The main thing is getting the cherries to “jam” up. That is the process of slowly cooking the cherry and sugar mixture until it thickens up. So there’s a lot of tasting and checking, but it’s a delicious job that someone has to do!

If I Don’t Want To Can My Cherry Jam, Can I Just Store It In The Fridge?

Yes! And personally this time, that is exactly what I did! If you store your cherry jam in an air-tight container in your refrigerator it will stay good for up to 1 month! Isn’t that great! Sweet fresh cherry jam at your disposal, what could be better! 

How To Make Cherry Jam Step by Step

  • The very first thing you’re going to want to do is to prepare your fresh cherries by giving them a nice wash, de-stemming, and pitting them. I did not have a cherry pitter so I used a strawberry huller which worked quite nicely for me.
pitting cherries
  • Next, after having your cherries prepared give them a nice rough chop. They do not need to be perfect just cut them into smaller pieces.
chopped cherries in a bowl.
  • After you have your cherries roughly chopped up place them into a nice wide mouth pot.
  • In the same pot with the cherries, you are going to add your orange zest, chia seeds, lemon juice, sugar, and water.
mixing the ingredients
  • Turn on your burner to a nice medium to high heat, we want to get this mixture up to a nice boil. Once you start getting to a nice roiling boil you will want to keep it going for the next 20 minutes. This is what starts the jamming process. Remember to keep stirring to keep the jam from burning on the bottom.
  • After you had your roiling boil for 20 minutes turn it down to a nice simmer. At this point, we will add in another 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and keep stirring. 
cooking cherry jam
  • I kept my jam at a simmer for about 50 minutes, and for the first 10 to 15 minutes would add another half of a cup of granulated sugar and just keep stirring away. You will start to notice a change in texture as your stirring this is a great sign that your jam is well jamming! 
  • After you’ve added all your sugar and you have kept stirring the mixture will turn into this beautiful deep red almost black color it is so stunning, this means your getting closer to the end.
cooked cherry jam
  • A Pro-Tip that I read online was to take a small dish and place it in your freezer so that it gets nice and cold. Take out the dish and spoon a very small amount of jam onto the dish, this will chill it almost immediately after a few seconds check the consistency of the jam if you can pick up the dish without the jam moving you’ve done it! You have an amazing fresh cherry jam! 
finished cherry jam
  • The next step after checking your jam for readiness is to now let the jam chill so you can put it into the correct containers for your storing purpose, I just used some glass containers that have an air-tight lid so I can store my right in my fridge. Go ahead and let that chill on the stovetop for about 20 minutes, remember we melted a bunch of sugar so the mixture is going to be super hot! 
  • After your cherry jam has cooled, put it in your containers, and let it cool off a while more. After mine was completely cooled I placed them into the fridge and went back later for a scoop and it was so amazing. The orange really brings out an amazing flavor of cherry it’s delicious. 

Can You Use Frozen Or Jared Cherries?

Since this was my first and only time so far making this cherry jam, I do not want to tell you no. But, I will explain why I think you could run into some issues. As for the frozen cherries, my fear would be the water content. Too much water could throw off this whole recipe and would take an even longer time to cook since your going to have to evaporate all of the extra moisture. As for canned or jarred cherries, they usually have more of a sweetness to them, so once again it may throw off the balance of this particular recipe. 

What Can You Use This Cherry Jam On?

I think the better question would be what can’t you use this cherry jam on! It’s perfect on your choice of breakfast toast as well as biscuits, cakes, cookies, you could even use it as a jam for layered cakes! 

Could I Omit The Chia Seeds?

You do not have to use the chia seeds. I added them for a bit of texture to my cherry jam but you could ditch the seeds if you want a smoother jam.

Go Make Your Own Jam!

Excited for more recipes with oranges? Check out my orange trees page to start learning everything there is to know about your favorite citrus!

Excited for more cherry content? Then visit our cherry page for more planting tips, growing guides, recipe ideas, and more!

Getting started on your seed growing journey? Use my seed starting guide to find care guides, helpful tips, product suggestions, and more!

Still hungry for more? Then discover our other fruit recipes to stock up your kitchen with nature’s healthy and tasty goodies!

Fresh Cherry Jam

Fresh Homemade Cherry Jam With Orange Zest and Chia Seeds

Yield: 3 Cups
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

A sweet delicious homemade cherry jam with healthy chia seeds and some tangy orange zest.


  • 4 Heaping Cups Of Fresh Cherries
  • 2 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar 
  • 3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice 
  • 1/2 An Orange For Zesting
  • 1 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
  • 1 Cup Water 


1. Wash, dry, de-stem, and pit all of your fresh cherries.
2. Give your cherries a rough dice, they don’t need to be perfectly uniform for this type of recipe.
3. Add your roughly chopped cherries to a wide-mouth pot.
4. In the same pot add 1/2 cup of sugar, the zest of 1/2 of an orange, chia seeds, and 1 cup of water.
4. On medium-high heat bring your mixture to a rolling boil for about 20 minutes while continuously stirring to prevent any burning. After 20 minutes turn down your heat so that the mixture stays at a nice simmer.
6. Every 10 to 20 minutes add 1/2 of a cup of granulated sugar at a time while stirring. You will start to feel a texture change in the mixture which means your jam is jamming up. Keep the simmer for about 50 minutes.
7. Test your jam by placing a small dish into your freezer so that it gets nice and cold. Take out the dish and spoon a very small amount of jam onto the dish this will chill it almost immediately after a few seconds check the consistency of the jam if you can pick up the dish without the jam moving it is done.
8. Turn off the heat and let the jam rest and cool right there on the stovetop. Once the jam has cooled about 20 minutes or so, place them into your desired dishes for storage.
9. Cherry Jam can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one month.
10. Enjoy!


You can store the jam in air-tight containers for up to one month in your refrigerator.

You may want to grab a cherry pitter or a strawberry huller to make the pitting process easier.

Cherry Jam Pinterest Image

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