Cherry Vanilla Preserves

cherry vanilla preserves

The delicate flavor of vanilla compliments the sweetness of cherries in these yummy cherry preserves.


  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh sweet cherries
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon calcium water (included in Pomona’s Pectin package)
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin powder


  1. Prepare jars, lids and bands; heat up canner and sterilize jars. Mix up calcium water.
  2. Rinse cherries, remove stems, slice in half and remove pits. Combine cherry halves and 1/2 cup water in a large sauce pan.
  3. Use a paring knife to slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and pod to the cherries. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. While the mixture is heating, mix pectin and sugar in a separate bowl.
  5. Add the lemon juice and calcium water to cherry mix. Stir until blended.
  6. Bring the cherry mixture to a boil over high heat. Once the cherry mixture has reached a full boil, slowly add the pectin-sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the preserves come back up to a boil.
  7. Once the cherry vanilla preserves return to a full boil, remove the pan from the heat. Using tongs, carefully remove the vanilla bean from the preserves and discard.
  8. To can the preserves, ladle preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe rims with a damp cloth and screw on lids finger tight.
  9. Lower jars into boiling water canner. Jars should not touch, and should be covered with at least 1-2 inches of water. Place lid on canner and return to rolling boil.
  10. Process jars for 10 minutes (adjust for altitude if necessary). Turn off canner and move jars to towel on counter top. Let jars rest until completely cooled. (I usually let them sit overnight.)
  11. Check seals, remove rings, date and label. Store out of direct sunlight and use within 18 months for best quality.


If you have citric acid on hand, you can substitute 1 teaspoon citric acid for the 1/4 cup lemon juice.

To make plain cherry preserves, just skip the vanilla bean. If you prefer, you can substitute 3/4 cup honey for the granulated sugar.

Keywords: cherries, sweet cherries, preserves, summer fruits, canning recipes