Cherry Habanero Jam

Fresh jam is easier than you’d think, and by using different flavors customizable to the season. Add some summer flair to yours with this Cherry Habanero Jam. It’s the best of sweet and heat coming together for a truly enjoyable treat.

Cherry Habanero Jam 2

“Sugar and spice and everything nice” that’s what we were taught little girls are made of. In this case, it’s what some of the best jams are made up of.

I’m sure you’ve heard of pepper jelly. It’s spicy. although the degree varies widely, and is often spread over a sweet counter part- like cream cheese– on crackers.

We took that idea and ran with it, putting a fresh Summery spin on it by adding some extra sweet to that heat with this Cherry Pepper version.

Cherry Habanero Jam 3

Beginning with a base of sweet dark cherries. We added sweet peppers and for our spice we included some Habanero.

The flavors blended beautifully and the jam had a wonderful depth to it. Just like with traditional pepper jelly it’s perfect to serve at parties over cream cheese and crackers.

Since ours were for a snack I did it for the kids, but for a party a softened block of cream cheese on a platter with Cherry Habanero Jam spread over top and dripping down the cream cheese makes a gorgeous presentation.

The fun doesn’t stop there though, spread this on toast, out over pancakes, or use it as a marinade for grilled meats like chicken and pork.

Cherry Habanero Jam

The intensity of the habanero pepper will decrease with cooking, so I’d advise tasting as you go to decide how much you want to add. Including the seeds and membranes will of course increase the heat.

We’ve found true heat seekers like it best when the hot pepper is stirred in right after cooking, but right before removing the pot from the heat.

Cherry Habanero Jam

This sweet cherry jam has just the right amount of spicy habanero flair. It's quick and easy, versatile, and a show stopper.
4.5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 pints
Calories: 612kcal


  • 4 heaping cups dark red sweet cherries
  • 1 cup finely diced red pepper
  • 1 small habanero pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp Ball Real Fruit Pectin Classic
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp butter optional


  • Wash and de-stem the cherries. Using a cherry pitter, pit them over a bowl so that you lose as little juice as possible.
  • Stick a knife into the bowl and roughly chop up the cherries before adding them to a large pot.
  • Sprinkle the lime juice out over the cherries and gently stir them to coat.
  • Stir the red pepper into the cherries.
  • Finely mince the habanero pepper. Remember-- the more pith and seeds you keep will increase the heat. Add the pepper to the pot as well.
  • Stir the pectin into the fruit and heat the mixture on low heat, continuing to stir occasionally, until the pectin's melted.
  • Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the mixture to a roiling bowl.
  • Stir in the sugar until almost completely melted. Allow the mixture to reach a rolling boil again.
  • If the pot's foaming stir in the butter. If not, you can omit it entirely. Otherwise let the jam boil for a full minute.
  • Remove the pot from heat. Skim off any excess foam. Let the mixture rest for a minute or two.
  • Fill canning jars up to a 1/4" from the top.
  • Wipe the rim of a jar with a damp paper towel, place flat lid on top of jar and place band on screwing until just hand tightened. Repeat for each additional jar until the jam is all canned.
  • Process your filled jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Then store or gift accordingly.
  • Notes
  • To avoid a painful case of Hot Pepper Hands, use a pair of rubber gloves when slicing and dicing the habanero peppers.


recipe adapted from Flour On My Face


Calories: 612kcal | Carbohydrates: 153g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 152g | Vitamin A: 853IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg

Cherry Habanero Jam Pini

14 thoughts on “Cherry Habanero Jam

    1. Suzanne, it’s like you read my mind. Seriously, it’s a good thing this stuff is sealed and saved in the pantry!! Out of sight out of mind because otherwise it would be a very dangerous thing with all that cheese and crackers,

    1. Well you sure are set on the pepper jelly for a while, Quinn! Or you’ve got a great head start on Christmas gifts!!

  1. 5 stars
    Have made this recipes for years. Very popular with family & friends. I have a surplus of poblanos this year. Any thoughts or experiences with using instead of jalapeƱos? Thanks

  2. 5 stars
    Wonderful! I like mine a bit hotter, and a bit more depth of heat, so I add I whole jalapeno as well. And please try this on smoked brisket! I know, sounds weird, but seriously, it’s soooooo good! Pairs perfectly with smoked beef!

    1. We’ve been experimenting more & more recently with different ways to marinade and enjoy our brisket. Great suggestion! Glad you enjoyed it Greg.

  3. I have sour cherries, and wondering if you think I could use those instead of the dark red?
    Thanks in advance for your advice.

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