Amaretto Cherry Preserves

I love the taste of sweet cherries. Love, love, love. They are one of my favorites in terms of flavor.

Amaretto Cherry

In terms of prep work, not so much. I’ll keep a bowl in my fridge to snack on with lunches, and then never eat them.

Don’t look at me like that. I don’t want to get my hands (and probably my clothes) all stained with cherry juice that takes forever to come off. Especially not for just a handful of cherries.

So what do I do? Pick 10 pounds of cherries and pit them all at once. Problem solved. Minus the fact that my fingertips are forever stained a reddish-brown because I refuse to buy a cherry pitter and do them all by hand. (And by forever, I mean about five days).

Except…I can only eat so many of the little red fruits. What do I do with the rest of the ten pounds?

Turn them into preserves. I know, you’re not surprised. That’s okay.

Amaretto Cherry 2


Amaretto Cherry Preserves

Yield: Makes 5-6 half pint jars

Amaretto Cherry Preserves


  • 2 1/2 pounds pitted sweet cherries, halved
  • 1/3 cup amaretto
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (1 box) pectin
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice


  1. Gently combine the cherries, amaretto and sugar in a large bowl, making sure that all the fruit is covered. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, prepare for canning. Wash the jars and flat lids with hot, soapy water. Put the jars in the canning pot and fill the pot with hot water. Heat over medium-high heat to keep the jars hot. Place the lids in a heat-proof bowl.
  3. Pour the cherries into a colander set over a large stockpot. Return the fruit to the bowl. Add pectin to the juice in the stockpot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes, or until the juice starts to reduce.
  4. Add the cherries, lime juice and pectin to the stockpot. Simmer, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
  5. Move some of the boiling water from the canning pot into the heat-proof bowl containing the lids. Line the hot jars up on a folded towel, then pour the water out of the heat-proof bowl and off the lids.
  6. Fill the jars up to 1/4” below the rim. Use a clean towel to wipe any preserves off the rims, then top each jar with a lid and a tightened ring. Place the jars back in the canning pot and make sure they are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and process for 5 minutes. Place the jars on a folded towel and allow to sit, undisturbed, for 24 hours. Check the seals of the lids after 1 hour. If a seal has not formed, refrigerate the jar immediately.

What’s your favorite cherry recipe?


    • Julie @savvyeats says

      Don’t be! It isn’t that scary, I promise. Come to Ithaca and we’ll have a lesson πŸ™‚

  1. says

    You’re a better chef than I am — I haaate pitting cherries, so I just pop them in my mouth fresh and spit out the pits πŸ™‚ This recipe sounds delicious, though… you might have persuaded me to get my hands (fingertips?) dirty.

  2. says

    Ha, you probably have serial killer cuticles like me! I pitted about 16 pounds last week; the stains have finally worn off and I’m back to normal hands. πŸ™‚

  3. says

    That sounds great, it’s interesting for me that in the US you boil in the jars. Not something I’ve ever done and not usual over here, I wouldn’t even know where to get the right type of jars. I might have to find out for those cherries though!!

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      Yes, I’ve read that they don’t often process the jars in Europe, etc. I just do what the FDA recommends!

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      This is when you buy 12+ pounds…you can’t possibly eat that many in one sitting πŸ˜‰

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      You should. It is so fun! If you look on my Brain Food page (in the right sidebar), I have “how to” posts

  4. Cindy says

    This sounds really good. The cherries pictured look like sour cherries. Did you use Bing (sweet) or Montmorency (sour) cherries? I have a sour cherry tree in my Wisconsin backyard and was wondering which cherries you actually used for your recipe. Thank you,

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      I actually made one batch of sour and one batch with sweet cherries, but this is the recipe for the sweet cherries (those are a different breed of sweet, I believe. They tasted sweet raw, at least!)

  5. Johnney says

    I use the latex-free exam gloves when pitting cherries. Saves the manicure! Is the pectin added with the juice or when the cherries are added to the juice

  6. says

    Ooh, thanks for linking these again! I have some cherries in my fridge and amaretto that barely gets used, plus a food swap coming up. I know what I’m going to be doing soon!