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Rainier Cherry Jam – if you are fan of Rainier cherries and would like to enjoy them all year round, you can preserve some in season Rainier cherries by making homemade jam, that will last for up to 1 year.

Rainier cherry jam in a jar

Quick and easy Rainier cherry jam that could be enjoyed on its own, on cheesecakes, pancakes, waffles or crepes. Rainier cherries are my favorite type of cherry and I prefer them fresh. But when I happen to get 8 pounds of them as a gift, I must make some homemade cherry jam.

National Rainier Cherry Day – July 11

Happy National Rainier Cherry Day!

Funny enough, I made this jam 2 weeks ago, but didn’t get to post the recipe until today and I found out that Rainier cherries had a holiday of their own. The only cherry variety with their own holiday.

Rainier cherries in a container

Rainier Cherries

Rainiers are a cross between Van and Bing cherries.

They have a delicate skin and soft yellow flesh, also considered a premium cherry. A lot less common than red cherries and at a higher price point. Very sensitive to temperature and rain. About 1/3 of their crop is considered to be eaten by birds, which makes them harder to get at larger quantities.

Rainier cherries have a lower acidity level, which results in them having higher brix (sugar content). Rainier cherries are actually sweeter than Dark Sweet cherries.

White cherry jam in clear 12 oz jars

Rainier cherry tree – since these cherries taste so good, are the trees hard to grow and do they need extra care? the short answer it – no.

The trees have gorgeous blooms and bear fruit easily.

Season – these cherries are in season from May to June in California and from June to August in Washington.

Calories – 1 cup (about 20 large Rainier cherries) contains around 100 calories and 13 grams of sugar.

Rainier cherry jam in jars

Preserving Rainier cherries (and what to do with them)

What to do with Rainier cherries?

  • Eat as much as you can while they are in season.
  • Make a homemade jam.
  • Use in baking – crumbles, pies and cakes.
  • Make a cocktail with them
  • Add to salads
  • Freeze for later to make smoothies or just use in baking

Rainier cherry jam in a pot

How to make Rainier Cherry Jam?

Removing the pits 

Always remove the pits when making jam with cherries. I have an old OXO cherry pitter, but you can also use a knife to cut the cherries in half and remove the pits.

Fruit to sugar ratio

The most important question – how much sugar should you add to your Rainier (white) cherry jam?

Since these cherries are sweeter than Sweet Black Cherries, I used 500 grams of sugar per 1 kilo of pitted cherries. Which means around 1 pound of sugar per 2 pounds of cherries (pitted). This results in a perfectly sweet jam with whole cherries.

Adding pectin to Rainier cherry jam

I do like that pectin shortens the cooking time and makes the fruit in the jam stay ad taste fresh. I did add pectin to this Rainier cherry jam.

Sterilizing the jars filled with hot jam (Canning)

Process clean hot jars filled with hot jam in a canning pot with a rack for 15 minutes.

What to serve this Rainier cherry jam with

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Rainier cherry jam in a jar
5 from 1 vote

Rainier cherry jam

Rainier Cherry Jam - if you are fan of Rainier cherries and would like to enjoy them all year round, you can preserve some in season Rainier cherries by making homemade jam, that will last for up to 1 year.
Servings: 3 jars


  • 10 cups Rainier cherries
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp pectin
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract or amaretto


  • Wash cherries. Remove stems and pit. Chop cherries or leave them whole.
  • Add cherries to a large pot and add the sugar and lemon juice inside. Stir.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5-7 minutes, until they release liquid.
  • In a small bowl combine the pectin and 1-2 tablespoons of sugar. Add to the cherries, stir and cook for 3 more minutes. Add vanilla or amaretto (optional).
  • Pour jam into cleaner and sterilized hot jars and close the lids.
  • Boil for 15 minutes in a canning pot with a rack.
  • Store in a cool and dry place for up to 12 months.


Calories: 1098kcal, Carbohydrates: 260g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 12mg, Fiber: 17g, Sugar: 238g, Vitamin C: 81mg, Calcium: 16mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookinglsl or tag #cookinglsl!

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Hi! I'm Mira.

I share simple, mostly low-carb and Keto recipes, that don't take a lot of time to make and use mostly seasonal, easy to find ingredients. I'm a supporter of healthy eating, but you'll also find some indulgent treats too.

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  1. I have made this recipe several times but seems to fail to jell every time. I follow the directions exactly.
    I checked my pectin and it’s fresh, not expired. Any ideas as to why I can’t get this jam to jell? It tastes wonderful but comes out like syrup.
    Please help.
    Thank you.

  2. My question is- is the 10 cups cherries already pitted and diced or inputted?  Which might be the reason it might not jell up for the previous comment.