Full Recipe

Cherry and Kirsch Jam

Cherry Kirsch Jam

Last week I mentioned that I was going to make this jam from Hawkes Bay cherries that Matthew is selling in our market (only available till Christmas). After some nervousness during most of the second part of the cooking as it seemed the jam would never set, it turned out perfectly. It’s very very dark and not too sweet. I used an old French recipe that I’d found and had been beginning to wonder if I’d translated it incorrectly. I’d also changed it slightly by adding more lemon juice than the original and more kirsch. As well as spreading this on toast or croissants, it is delicious served with Ossau Iraty sheep’s milk cheese at the end of a meal.

  • Ingredients (makes 3-4 jars)
  • 1.2 kg cherries (I used seconds), stones removed – reserve 6-7 stones
  • Juice of 3 lemons, reserve the pips
  • 2 apples
  • 400ml water
  • 800g white sugar (I used jam sugar)
  • 2 tbsps kirsch


Wash the apples and roughly cut them into pieces, skin, core and all. Place in a pot and add the water. Bring to the boil and cook for about 20 minutes or until the apples are soft. Tip in a sieve placed over a bowl. Press with a spatula to get out all the juice. There should be about 200ml liquid.

Tie the reserved cherry stones and lemon pips into a small piece of gauze. Put the lemon juice, 200ml liquid from the apples and the sugar into a pot. Dissolve the sugar and bring to the boil. Gently boil for 4-5 minutes. Add the cherries and gauze packet and bring back to the boil for a minute. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. At this stage add a good splash of kirsch if you like extra (additional to the above). Skim if necessary. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to macerate at room temperature for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Return to the heat and boil until the jam sets when tested – mine took about 60 minutes although the original recipe estimated 25-30 minutes. Finally add in 2tbsps kirsch and remove from the heat. Pour into sterilised jars and cool.