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Cherry Habanero Lime Jam


5 from 2 votes
Cherry Habanero Lime Jam is a low-sugar or low-honey cooked jam made with Pomona’s Universal Pectin using the juice and the pulp of cherries, with a touch of crisp lime. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener.
Servings 5 cups


  • 4 cups sweet cherries (about 3 pounds), pitted and smashed
  • 1 fresh habanero pepper de-seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup lime Juice bottled
  • 1-2 limes zested
  • 3 teaspoons calcium water see step #1
  • 1 to 2 cups sugar OR 1/2 cup to 1 cup Honey
  • 3 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin mixed with sweetener


  • Before You Begin, prepare calcium water.
    To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well.
    Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.
  • Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small saucepan; cover and heat to a low boil. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.
  • Rinse the cherries, remove and discard stems and pits, then chop the cherries.
  • Combine chopped cherries, calcium water, diced habanero pepper, lime zest, and lime juice in a saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer, still covered, for 5 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the sweetener and Pomona's Pectin. Mix well and set aside.
  • Bring the cherry-habanero mixture to a rolling boil over high heat. Gradually add pectin-sweetener mixture, stirring vigorously between each addition, for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.
  • Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with jam, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands, tightening bands only to “fingertip tight” (until resistance is met, and then just the tiniest bit more).
  • Place jars in the hot water, on the rack inside the canner. (Make sure jars are upright, not touching each other or the sides of the canner, and are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water). Place the lid on the canner, return the canner to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes. (Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.)
  • Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Confirm that jars have sealed. Remove screw bands from sealed jars, rinse off outside of jars if necessary, label jars, and store for later use.

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17 Responses

  1. Donna
    | Reply

    I’m new to Pomona’s, can I use pineapple instead of cherries and omit all the lime juice and zest? Would I have to substitute something for the lime? Thanks

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Donna,
      Welcome to the Pomona’s family! Yes, you can certainly replace the cherry with pineapple and you can omit the lime zest. The lime juice needs to stay or can be replaced by lemon juice.

  2. Holly
    | Reply

    This is delicious! I used 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup monk fruit sugar.

  3. Kathy
    | Reply

    I made this recipe using Serrano peppers because the habaneros we really sad looking at my grocers. This jam is AMAZING! I could eat this with a spoon. In my second batch I wanted it hotter so I added cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and 2 Serrano’s with the seeds and membranes.. both batches I used one and a half cups of sugar. I love the combination of lime and cherry with the heat.Delicious on crackers with cream cheese!

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Thank you Kathy!! We love it too…now we need to whip up a batch! 😊

  4. Kathy
    | Reply

    Hi there thanks for the great website! I’ve been canning for years and just recently read a post about how commercial low sugar pectin may contain ammonia! I love this recipe however my adult children do not like the taste of habanero peppers. They prefer Serrano and they like it HOT can I sub a couple of Serrano peppers for the habanero? Love the ingredients , lime and sweet cherries with hot pepper! Thank you for your response.

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Kathy,

      Welcome to the Pomona’s family! Yes, you can absolutely substitute the habanero peppers for serrano peppers in this recipe, just be sure to use the same quantity called for.

      Happy jamming!

  5. Mary O. Mercurio
    | Reply

    Do I have to use the lime zest in this recipe also are you talking lime juice or the squeeze container shaped like a lime in the produce dept?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Mary,

      You do not have to use the zest, and we recommend using bottled lime or lemon juice. Happy jamming!

  6. Ellen
    | Reply

    Can I use frozen cherries… I missed the season for fresh cherries?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      You sure can, you can use frozen fruit for the cooked recipes. It’s best to use unsweetened frozen fruit. Defrost, but don’t drain, frozen fruit before using. Generally you use the liquid from the frozen fruit along with the fruit unless you notice that there is an excessive amount of liquid, in which case you would ladle off some of the excess liquid before measuring your mashed fruit. If you are going to juice the fruit for jelly, then you would use all of the liquid.

  7. Anita Pope
    | Reply

    I live in Australia and cherries are quite expensive, what can I substitute?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Anita,

      Great question! Peach, Nectarine, Apricot, Sweet Plum, Pear, Mango, Guava, Fig, Strawberry, Kiwi, Currant, Raspberry,Gooseberry, Sour Blackberry, Sour Plum, Pineapple, Blueberry, Sweet Blackberry, Mulberry, Elderberry, and Ripe Quince are all possible substitutes.

      Happy jamming!

  8. Desiree Moore
    | Reply

    Can you use cherry juice instead of full cherries?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      You sure can! It will just need to be no-sugar added juice and you will need to increase the pectin and the calcium water, each to 5 teaspoons instead of the 3 teaspoons listed.

  9. DA
    | Reply

    Guys, are you kidding with this recipe? I prepped cherries,lime, etc then reread.

    > Combine chopped cherries, *water*, diced habanero pepper, calcium water…

    There’s no reference to additional water in the recipe. Do you mean the lime juice?

    > using the juice and the pulp of cherries, with a touch of almond extract

    Where’s almond extract in the recipe or process instructions?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello there, we do not see where almond extract is listed for this recipe, where did you see that?

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