Looking for a way to use up those sad cherries? Inspired to try rhubarb for the first time? Make this homemade Cherry Rhubarb Jam with just 6 ingredients in under 1 hour! You’ll quickly forget how much you thought you loved store-bought jam!

Cherry Rhubarb Jam in glass jam jars.

One of my greatest joys every summer is stirring a pot of hot and bubbly jam on the stovetop.

There’s just something so grounding about this very basic activity. It’s one that has been done dutifully and faithfully summer after summer by millions of people for centuries.

Cherry Rhubarb Jam in glass jam jars. The jars are labeled with masking tape.

And it’s humbling to think that I, in my tiny place in this world, have taken part in this very human tradition. No matter what kind of jam I make, it’s still made using the same (or nearly the same) process as it was hundreds of years ago.

The outcome, while differing by flavor, is always the same: jars of thick, warm, and fruity jam that begs to be slathered on biscuits and toast or stirred into yogurt.

A dollop of Cherry Rhubarb Jam in a bowl of yogurt with a spoon in the yogurt.

This cherry rhubarb jam isn’t one I ever thought of making until I had a pile of fresh rhubarb in the fridge that had no particular plan, which my friend picked from her yard just for me.

I also had a bag of cherries that needed to be used up. And on a quick flip through my new favorite baking cookbook, I knew exactly which direction my morning was going in.

Sliced rhubarb and pitted cherries ready to be cooked into Cherry Rhubarb Jam.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Jam is one of those things that only requires a couple of ingredients, and this cherry rhubarb version is no different. Here’s what you’ll need (be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredient amounts!):

  • Sweet cherries
  • Rhubarb
  • Sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Table Salt
  • Vanilla extract

The Uni-Tasker Tool of My Dreams

The most labor-intensive part of making this jam is prepping the cherries.

Let’s be real: pitting cherries is not a fun process. It’s messy, takes forever, and feels like a chore maybe not worth doing. Until now.

A cherry pitter with pits in the bottom bin. The pitted cherries for Cherry Rhubarb Jam are in the bowl next to the pitter.

Enter the most incredible uni-tasker tool I have ever used. This cherry pitter is the tool I never knew I needed in my life. For this jam, I pitted 12 ounces of cherries in under 2 minutes. Can you imagine?!

How to Make Cherry Rhubarb Jam

Here’s the very basic process for how to make this jam. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full Instructions list!

STEP 1: Prep the cherries and rhubarb.

STEP 2: In a medium saucepan, mix the fruit with the sugar, lemon juice, and salt.

Sliced rhubarb covered with sugar in a stainless steel pot ready to be cooked into Cherry Rhubarb Jam.

STEP 3: Simmer the fruit, stirring often, until the rhubarb is completely soft, the cherries have mostly broken down, and the jam is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the vanilla.

STEP 4: Allow the jam to cool for 15 minutes off the heat. Transfer to clean jars and allow to cool for another 15 minutes. Refrigerate for about 1 day before using.

Cherry Rhubarb Jam in a stainless steel pot ready to be canned. There is a long wooden spoon in the jam.

To Can or Not to Can…

If you’re up for it, you can certainly can this jam to preserve it for many months to come. I, however, was not up for canning on the morning I made this jam on a whim.

Instead, I jarred my hot jam in 3 of my seemingly endless supply of empty Bonne Maman jam jars to store in the fridge.

One of the 3 jars went right over to my friends who gave me the rhubarb as a “thank you” for the rhubarb supply. I knew I’d be using the rest of the jam up fairly quickly so I wasn’t at all worried about how long it was going to stay fresh in the fridge.

Cherry Rhubarb Jam on a wooden spoon held above the pot of cooked jam.

If you’re not up for the canning process but want to keep the jam for a few months anyway, you can always freeze it. These silicone containers work great for freezing and portioning jam!

What We Love About this Homemade Jam

Aside from the fact that I live for making homemade switches for store-bought items in my own kitchen, this jam is incredibly delicious! It’s a little sweet, a bit tart, and fully of chunky cherries.

Does a slather on some morning toast get any better?!

More Homemade Jam Recipes You’ll Love

Cherry Rhubarb Jam in glass jam jars.

Cherry Rhubarb Jam Recipe

Yield: about 4 cups
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Cherry Rhubarb Jam is the jam recipe you never knew you needed in your life until you take that first spoonful. Tart, sweet, and utterly bursting with summer flavor, this jam is super simple to make! It can be canned for future use or stored in the fridge or freezer for more immediately devouring.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz (340 g) sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
  • 4 cups (500 g) 1-inch pieces of fresh or frozen rhubarb (stems only with the leaves removed)
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • Heavy pinch of table salt
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix the fruit with the sugar, lemon juice, and salt.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook the fruit for 30 minutes, stirring often. By this point, most of the water will have simmered off and the bubbles will start to increase in size. Reduce to low and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes until the rhubarb is completely soft, the cherries have mostly broken down, and the jam is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  3. Take the pan off the heat and stir the vanilla extract into the jam.
  4. Allow the jam to cool for 15 minutes off the heat. Transfer to clean jars and allow to cool for another 15 minutes. Refrigerate for about 1 day before using to allow the jam to thicken and the flavors to meld.

Notes

adapted from 100 Morning Treats by Sarah Kieffer

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Leave a Comment

  • kathy holt
    June 28, 2023 at 10:28 AM

    how long is the jam good for?

    • Tara
      June 28, 2023 at 10:53 AM

      Hi Kathy, Fridge: about 3 weeks. Freezer: 3 months. Canned: 1 year.

  • Crystal
    July 23, 2023 at 5:42 PM

    I just made this with lime juice (because I already had them). I also added the zest in at the end. It is SO good!!!

    • Tara
      July 25, 2023 at 4:50 PM

      Wonderful to hear, Crystal! Thank you so much for coming back to leave a comment!

  • Khristin Paisley
    July 6, 2024 at 3:37 PM

    Do I need to make any adjustments to can this in a water bath?

    • Tara
      July 8, 2024 at 4:10 PM

      Hi Khirstin, I’ve never canned this jam so I can’t give you recommendations for doing so. Sorry about this!