It’s cherry season! I’ve been making all kinds of yummy treats featuring my favorite bing cherries.  Unfortunately, the season always seems to end too quickly.  Unless, you make jam! To be honest, I prefer cooked jam. It doesn’t take up precious space in my freezer and it’s easy to give away as gifts when those sweet cherries are long gone. But then I came across this recipe that uses roasted cherries and honey! I’ve never thought of roasting the cherries before.  It really gives another dimensional flavor! And...I love that it is made without the processed white sugar. That’s one step in the right direction. It’s super simple to make.  Pull it out of the freezer for your next cheese platter, brioche stuffed french toast, cheesecake, crepes with chocolate shavings, pork tenderloin. You can pretty much add this sweet jam to just about anything! Most importantly, it’s delicious on the iconic PB&J sandwich.  Try it!



  • 1½ pound fresh sweet cherries, pitted and halved (about 4 cups) 
  • 1 Tbsp VanillaPura Tongan/rum vanilla extract
  • 1 Tongan vanilla bean
  • 1 tablespoon minced lemon zest 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • ½ package Sure Jell Premium Fruit Pectin For Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes (about 25 grams or 2 Tbsp. + 2½ tsp.)
  • ½ cup water


  1. Heat oven to 450°F; line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. Toss cherries with 1 Tbsp of VanillaPura Tongan vanilla extract, then arrange in a single layer on a prepared sheet. Roast cherries 15 minutes; let cool slightly. 
  3. Transfer cherries, and any juices, to the bowl of a food processor with zest, salt and pepper; pulse until nearly smooth. Transfer cherry mixture to a large bowl with honey and the seeds of one Tongan vanilla bean, stir to combine. 
  4. Whisk together sugar and pectin in a saucepan. Stir in water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Stir pectin mixture into cherry mixture until well combined
  6. Divide jam among four 8-ounce jars, leaving ¼–½ inch of room at the top. Seal jars and leave jam at room temperature overnight, or until set, but no longer than 24 hours.
  7. Refrigerate jam up to 3 weeks or freeze for up to 1 year. Thaw jam in refrigerator before using.

Kudos to Zestful Kitchen for sharing

Jill Fulton