Cherry Habanero Lime Jam

Cherry Habanero Lime Jam |

While working my way through the sixty pounds of cherries I had ordered from the Amish store, I got to the point where I was making jam. On a whim, I minced and tossed a little fresh habanero pepper into my regular cherry lime jam.


It was so good I made everyone in the house come taste it right away. I even made the “I only like jelly I don’t like jam” crew try it. Now before anyone gets made at me for making a bunch of kids try habanero jam, I’d like to remind you these are MY kids and they were raised on spicy stuff. Besides, it isn’t face-meltingly hot, but it has a little background warmth that you can’t get without the little kick of habanero. The lime makes the sweet cherries just that much brighter. I’ll keep this short and sweet (like a jar of jam) and tell you that this jam is a real winner. In fact, this jam is one of the best I’ve ever made. And for those of my family and friends who like things REALLY spicy, I’ll be making another batch and doubling the amount of habanero because I love you.

Like a lot of long time canners, I like to make jam that you can’t buy in stores… or at least that are difficult to find in stores. I like to make them a little healthier while I’m at it. For this reason, I adore Pomona’s Universal Pectin.*

*This is NOT a sponsored post. Pomona’s has no idea I exist, but they oughta since I have probably paid their electric bill for a couple months with the amount of their pectin I purchase. The point is that I REALLY believe their product is the best. Seriously.

At first glance, it looks like Pomona’s is much more expensive than SureJell or Certo or Ball, but if you break it down, you’ll probably find that it is equitable or less costly. How is this possible?

  • Pomona’s Universal Pectin makes three to five batches of jam per box of pectin vs. the other leading brand’s one batch per box.
  • With Pomona’s, you can double, triple, quadruple each batch of jam and are limited only by the size of your jam pot, the length of your spoon, and the amount of arm power you have to stir. With the leading brand, one batch and you’re done.
  • Pomona’s is designed to be a low or no sugar pectin. The range in recipes usually specifies four cups of crushed fruit to three-quarters of a cup up to two cups of sugar, honey, or agave. You can even omit sugar and use stevia, Splenda, fructose, sucanat, xylitol or nothing at all to sweeten it! With the leading brand, that ratio is turned on its head and is usually SEVEN CUPS OF SUGAR to four cups of crushed fruit. Holy moly. That makes my teeth ache!

So where do you lay your hands on this? My sister and order it in bulk together every spring from a local health food distributor. You can find it at most health food stores, through,, and other retailers. Recently, I got a great price on it from Again? I’m NOT an affiliate of any of those places, I just want to share the love. Sometimes my beloved has it, but that’s not always a given!

Before you ask, yes, it probably IS possible to make this with another pectin, but I’ve designed the jam to work consistently with Pomona’s. Feel free to tinker with it and try to make it work with another brand of pectin, it just hasn’t been tested!

Cherry Habanero Lime Jam |

5 from 1 reviews
Cherry Habanero Lime Jam
There's no jam like homemade jam and this homemade sweet cherry jam has a little extra kick and sunshine in it courtesy of fresh habanero peppers and lime juice and zest. It's not face meltingly hot, but the gentle warmth from the habaneros will make this jam a welcome addition to the winter breakfast table. The jam also makes a fabulous all-in-one glaze for grilled meats!
  • 4 cups pitted, crushed sweet cherries
  • 1 to 2 fresh habanero peppers, stemmed and seeded and very finely diced
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 2 cups sugar (I used raw sugar, but granulated sugar is also fine here.)
  • 4 teaspoons Pomona's Universal Pectin powder
  • 4 teaspoons Pomona's Calcium Water (mix is included in packages of Pomona's Universal Pectin)
  1. Prepare and sterilize your jars and lids. See instructions here for help! This recipe yields about 5 cups, give or take a bit, so you'll want to have enough jars ready to go.
  2. Measure your prepared fruit (including the habaneros) into a deep jam pot (remember it will bubble and foam and expand in size greatly as it boils!) with the lime juice and calcium water. Stir it well. Bring the fruit to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking or scorching.
  3. While the fruit is coming to a boil, measure the sugar and pectin powder in a clean, dry bowl and whisk it together. Set aside.
  4. When the fruit comes to a full boil, stir the sugar/pectin mixture in all at once and stir HARD for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the sugar and pectin. Return the mixture to a boil and immediately remove from heat then stir in the lime zest.
  5. Fill prepared, sterile jars to within ¼-inch of the top. Wipe the rims clean, fix new, two-piece lids in place and screw the rings to fingertip tightness. Place filled jars in a canner filled with boiling water so that they are covered by at least an inch of water. Return the mixture to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off after 10 minutes of boiling and let the jars stand in the water for 5 minutes before transferring carefully to a towel lined counter top or a cooling rack.
  6. Let the jars cool completely before checking the seals. The center of the lids should be sucked down and not pop when pressed gently. Remove the ring from the jars, wipe clean, label clearly and store in a cool, dark place for a year or so. Once a jar is opened, it is good for about 3 weeks, tightly covered in the refrigerator.



  1. Jan K says

    I too love Pamona’s pectin, I like the taste of the fruit not the sugar. I also like making jams that are not the usual (my daughter is always asking me to make just plain jam), this year I made some Strawberry Rhubarb and plain Strawberry but didn’t tell her that I used raw honey instead of sugar, of course it was awesome. This recipe sounds great gonna have to try it. Happy cooking

  2. Rabecka says

    Hi Rebecca! Great sounding recipe. Just wanted to tell you that you can purchase Pamona’s directly from their website for a very good price (better than Amazon last time I checked) and they don’t charge any shipping.

  3. says

    I’m with you girl. You took care of the electric bill while I’m pretty sure I covered health insurance for most of their employees. I love Ponoma because I like to control how much sweetener I use and even more, what KIND of sweetener I use. This jam is my jam- the sweet & spicy combo will always be a winner in my book. Amazing!

  4. says

    I am so making this jam!! love those flavors. And it’s funny should write about Pomomas pectin, I was doing some research on jams etc and came across it. Thanks for your insight on it, sometimes its hard to know if what your reading is all just advertising or not.
    Hope your summer is going well. We will be heading up to the UP the first week in August: )

  5. says

    I’m officially inspired to make jam at home, I’ve made the “fake” kind that lasts about a week, but you’ve inspired me to make jam that I actually can/jar myself and keep. Thank ya!

  6. jeff says

    How do you use the habaneros? I mean do you fish them out at the end or do a fine dice and leave them in?

    This inspired me to make jam for the first time… :-)

  7. says

    I often use a fruit preserve or jam added to a base BBQ sauce for ribs. This one would be superb used that way – a cherry habenero bbq sauce.

  8. Tiffany says

    How many jars are needed? Attempting my first canning experience, and I’ve chosen this and your candied jalapeno recipe as my first go at it.

  9. Jessica says

    If I can not get Pomomas pectin, can i use sure jell liquid pectin and if so how much would i use (1 packet?)
    Thanks Im new to canning.

    • says

      Hi Jessica! I’m sorry but I’m not sure how much jell liquid pectin you would use because I developed this using Pomona’s. Pomona’s really does behave differently from other commercial pectins, so I truly advise you to seek it out!

  10. says

    Thank you very much for the recipe.

    Yesterday I went to a u-pick farm and the only thing I was able to pick was sweet cherries. I came home with 6 lbs of cherries and needed something to do with it all. For a chile-head like myself finding this jam recipe was perfect.

    Thanks so much for contributing to the digital world.

  11. Uvon says

    I couldn’t find habanero peppers (I’ve had this problem before, and suspect a government conspiracy to keep habaneros out of Chicago), so I substituted a Serrano pepper instead. Looking forward to opening one of the jars in a couple weeks.

  12. says

    Hi, great recipe, can’t wait to try it. Have just finished pitting the cherries ready for tomorrow. Have 6.5 cups crushed.

    I am in South Australia and cannot find Pomonas Pectin so I’m going for an apple pectin. Do you know if using commercial pectin would alter the amount of raw sugar required?

    Thanks in advance.

    Ps will be upping the habanero count to more than a handful mwahahaha

    • says

      Hi Glenn-
      I’m not really experienced using apple pectin, so I’m afraid I couldn’t tell you whether it is usable in similar amounts or whether you’d need to adjust it. Would you please let me know how it works out for you? Also- YEAH!!! Enjoy that spice! 😀

    • says

      Hi AJ- I haven’t tested this with Montmorency cherries but I always encourage playing with your food! Please let me know if you try it and whether you like the results!

      • AJ says

        I made a batch this weekend with montmorency cherries and it turned out a little tart. Next time I will cut the lime juice in half. Very good heat!

        • says

          Thanks for weighing back in with the verdict! Duly noted. I’d be careful about cutting the lime juice, though, because the acidity is needed to guarantee safe canning practices. Maybe the Montmorencies won’t work as well in this jam because of that?

  13. Paulette says

    Cherries are out of season right now and I have ALOT of habenaros. Can I use frozen cherries with this recipe if I thaw them out and let them dry a little?


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