Light Recipes - Reduced Sugar, Salt

Light Sour Cherry Jam - No Sugar Needed Pectin

Yield: Makes about 4 to 6 x 250 ml jars (depending on chosen sweetener)
Prep Time: 120 minutes
Processing Time: 10 Minutes
Difficulty: Intermediate
No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin lets you control the type and/or quantity of sweetener in fruit spreads. Make fruit spreads with no added sweetener, sugar replacements like SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, or small quantities of granulated sugar. Follow directions carefully!


  • 4 cups (1000 ml) finely chopped sour cherries (For sweet cherries add 1tbsp lemon juice)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) unsweetened apple, raspberry or white grape juice
  • 1 pkg (49 g) BERNARDIN® No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin
  • Sweetener – if using:
    • 1 1/2 cups to 3 cups (375 - 750 ml) granulated sugar
    • OR
    • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener


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  • Place 4 clean 250 or 236 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water, and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside; heat lids in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and lids hot until ready to use.
  • Finely chop cherries. Freshly pitted or partially thawed frozen cherries may be pulsed in a food processor; do not puree. (If cherries are excessively juicy, drain off about half of the juice.) Measure cherries and fruit juice into a large, deep stainless steel saucepan. Whisk in No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin until dissolved.
  • If using sweetener, measure SPLENDA® or sugar and set aside.
  • Stirring constantly, bring fruit mixture to a boil over high heat.
    • o If using, add sweetener (sugar or SPLENDA®) and return mixture to a boil.
    • o Stirring frequently, boil 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Skim foam.
  • Quickly ladle jam into a hot jar to within 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if required by adding more jam. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Wipe jar rim removing any stickiness. Centre hot lid on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner ensuring jars are covered by water. Repeat for remaining jam.
  • When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least 1” water. Cover canner and bring water to a full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 10 minutes.
  • When processing time is complete, remove canner lid; wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting. Cool upright on a protected work surface; leave undisturbed for 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands. After cooling check jar seals. Sealed lids curve downward. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within 1 year.

Notes & Tips

Notes & Tips:

If using an artificial sweetener other than SPLENDA®, adjust quantity to sweetener you are using and stir sweetener into mixture immediately after completion of boiling before filling jars.

Sugar – Adjust sugar level to desired sweetness, staying within a 1 to 3 cups (250 to 750 ml) range.

To reduce foaming, add 1/4 tsp (1 ml) margarine or butter to fruit mixture before cooking. Sugar-free and low sugar jams do not bubble and boil up as high into the pan as do regular, full sugar preserves. The mixture should, however, bubble constantly while being stirred for the full 3 minutes.


Karen Ledsham

Saskatoon, Sk Canada

5 out of 5

July 17, 2016 8:54 PM

Very pleased with finished results, Box recipe had a notation about using 3/4 to 1 cup of honey as an alternative sweetener. I used 3/4 cup of honey on my first batch and 1 3/4 cups of sugar on the second batch, both worked perfectly, both giving me 5 250ml jars. Next on my list is to make Sour Cherry Jelly using no-sugar pectin after I pick up more at local store.