Free Recipe :: Low Sugar Cherry Rhubarb Jam

 Cooking and baking is both physical and mental therapy. --  Mary Berry  

Cooking and baking is both physical and mental therapy. --  Mary Berry

When we first moved into my old  home in Chicago, I planted a sour cherry tree. I nurtured it and soon enough it was fully mature and producing thousands of cherries. The annual harvest begins around the 4th of July and lasts a few weeks. Now, I miss that tree. The humidity of St. Louis, isn't conducive to growing cherry trees. Alas.

In 2013, my last summer in Chicago, we had a bumper crop, so neighbors came to help.  We’ve been making jams, ice creams and pies, sharing recipes back and forth.  This is my recipe for cherry rhubarb jam. It’s low in sugar and full of flavor.  I love it with corn bread, but I bet it would go well with vanilla ice cream or even a slice of cheddar.



  • 4 cups pitted sour cherries
  • 1 cup of chopped rhubarb
  • 1T low sugar pectin (We use Pomona's Universal Pectin .)
  • 2 t calcium water (The powder to make the water is included in the Pomona package.)
  • 1T  fresh lemon juice
  • 2c sugar


  • Large pot with lid
  • Canning kettle with lid
  • Deep skillet
  • Cutting board
  • Cherry Pitter
  • Knife
  • Canning jar lifter
  • Canning funnel
  • Tongs
  • Citrus juicer
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Canning jars

 Invest in a cherry pitter. While you can pit cherries using a knife, it is easier with a pitter.

Let’s cook!

This recipe makes approximately 6 cups of jam.

  1. Thoroughly wash your fruit. A strainer and a faucet with a spray nozzle attachment will quickly get the job done. 
  2. Pit the cherries and chop the rhubarb into 1/4” chunks. Mix them together. Add lemon juice and calcium water. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to simmer.
  3. Mix the pectin powder with the sugar. Blend thoroughly and add to the pot.  Increase heat and boil for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to simmer as you prepare to can.
  4. Use the rolling boil method of canning for 10 minutes. Be sure all your jars, rings and lids are thoroughly clean and sterilized. If you have a dishwasher with a sterilize cycle, you may use it to wash everything just before canning, otherwise sterilize the jars and lids for 10 minutes in your canner at a full boil. HINT: I actually add the lids and rings to a deep skillet filled with water at a full boil to sterilize as they easier to fetch that way.