Smoked Cherry Jam

In July of this year, my husband and I had the pleasure of experiencing a bit of Montana. It’s been on our travel bucket list for years, specifically Glacier National Park, which did not disappoint.

Our home base was the Lodge at Whitefish Lake, and we had a few outstanding meals at their restaurant. To start off our last meal before flying home, we ordered a charcuterie and cheese platter. There was elk sausage, prosciutto, artisan cheeses, pickled vegetables, pears and more, but what really got my attention was a cherry jam of sorts, pictured here on the Montana-shaped board. It looked like perhaps it was made with dried cherries.

On the menu it was referred to as a chutney, made with Montana’s famous Flathead cherries. But it was not savory enough to be a chutney in my book. The cherries were soft, in a not-very-sweet syrup, and had a smoky punch that really took me by surprise.

I knew when I got home I’d try to replicate this condiment. I decided to use my stove-top smoker and seriously smoke fresh cherries.

It worked really well. Here is the jam paired with goat cheese on a cracker.

Smoked Cherry Jam

1 pound cherries, firm and unblemished
2 tablespoons cherry wood, pulverized
16 ounces cherry or pomegranate juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
Pinch of salt

Rinse the cherries, and dry them. De-stem and pit the cherries.

Prepare a stove-top grill and use cherry wood.

Place the pitted cherries in the grill, start up the heat, and when you see smoke, cover the grill and lower the heat. You’re not trying to cook the cherries, just add smoke flavor to them.

The cherries smoked for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees; I used a convection setting. I just wanted to dehydrate the cherries a bit. It took 2 hours.

Meanwhile, add the juice and sugar to a pot large enough to hold the cherries. Stir till the sugar is dissolved and reduce the mixture until syrupy. Depending on the juice, you might have to adjust the amount of sugar. I wanted a syrup consistency, but not a super-sweet syrup.

Let the syrup cool slightly, then add the lemon juice, chipotle powder, and salt. Stir well, then stir in the smoked and somewhat dehydrated cherries.

I paired the condiment with goat cheese, brie, apples, fresh cherries, and rosemary crackers.

The jam was delicious with brie.

The smokiness was spot on. I just love this jam!

I can really see the jam being paired with roast pork or turkey. It would be fabulous with duck or brisket.

The pairing possibilities are endless, really. It takes a little work to make this jam, but so worth it!

62 thoughts on “Smoked Cherry Jam

  • Mimi, your smoked cherry jam looks amazing. Thanks for those step by step photos as that is really helpful. Need to get a batch of cherries before the season is over and try your recipe. Stay well and take care

    • I know, I’ve tasted anything like this before, unless it was more of a barbecue sauce made with cherries. It’s outstanding!

    • It was really amazing, I have to say. It didn’t look like what we got at the restaurant, but the taste was very similar.

      • I use my stove top smoker a lot. Have you looked into one of those? Cameron’s, about $50.00. You could try adding chipotle, but you’re right, it gets pretty spicy. This jam was seriously smoky, not just spicy.

  • What a lovely condiment!
    You smoked fresh cherries and then dried them in the oven. I wonder if it would produce the same or similar results if one smoked dried cherries instead of fresh. The chance of me getting fresh cherries at present is nil and I would love to give this a try. I will get some dried cherries next time I’m shopping. Sounds wonderful!
    Thanks Mimi :))

  • this sounds fascinating. i love cherries and i love smoked foods. Yum. just curious about you going to montana? so there are no travel restrictions over there? We can pretty much only travel in our own State atm.

    • There were restrictions within the hotel and restaurants, but where we traveled to in Montana, like Glacier National Park, we saw very few people. One day on a hike we saw 2 people. What I didn’t like was flying – they packed us in like sardines, which isn’t what they’ve been advertising. But we’re happy we went, because it’s been on our travel bucket list for so long.

    • We’re not going anywhere for a long time, most likely. This Montana trip was a private, customized trip, which was supposed to include daughter and boyfriend, now husband. They got trapped in England, which isn’t a terrible place to be trapped!

  • You had me at smoked! You know that I love to smoke anything and everything, but I don’t think I’ve ever smoked cherries. I’ll have to try this out…and over goat cheese? Yum!!

  • YES! The combination of the smoked cherries and goat’s cheese looks fabulous! I suppose one could also take the easy route and use one of those machines with a tube that transfers smoke into a bowl containing your ingredients (shh, don;t tell anyone I said that)!

    • I was given one of those, but never used it! I don’t remember why… but this worked really well. And when I use my stove-top smoker, the house smells really good!

  • Saw this on social media and was very excited. I am so embarrassed to say that I have yet to get out my new smoker. It was a Christmas gift, for Pete’s sake. Am I afraid? I just don’t know. I need to man up and do something about this.

    • My god man. You’re like my husband. I gave him a drone for Christmas and he’s still never gotten it out of the box. Smoke some salmon!!!!

  • This sounds sooo good! I received a counter-top “smoke infuser” for Christmas last year. It works great for smoky cocktails but in truth that’s all I’ve used it on. I think it might work for this recipe too, bookmarking to try! I love cherry jams and the smoky touch sounds divine!

    Also, Whitefish, Montana is on my bucket list. I’m so jealous you got to vacation there! So gorgeous!! Glad you enjoyed it!

    • Well, we’re 64, so we waited a heck of a long time! You definitely need to go! The cherry jam is almost like a cherry barbecue sauce, but not really.

    • They really do come in handy! I especially love to hot smoke salmon with it. Obviously, it works for fruit!

  • You are blowing my mind in so many ways!!! First, s stovetop smoker???? That’s AMAZING, and I need to get one! And second, smoked cherries. WOW, that just sounds absolutely delicious. I’m a lifelong lover of cherries, yet I’ve never had them smoked. Your jam sounds absolutely addicting Mimi, I need to make this! (And what an amazing vacation in Montana, sounds a beautiful and delicious trip!)

    • It was a perfect trip, and we stayed healthy which is good. I have had this smoker for so many years and it’s really handy. I use it mostly for hot-smoking salmon. This jam is really incredible, I hope you make it!

  • Mimi, in my previous working life, I travel to Whitefish often and always visited Glacier if it was open. The “going to the sun” road is one of the most spectacular drives in the world. Speaking of spectacular, those smoked cherries look fantastic. I will be trying this come our next cherry season…

    • We’ve been waiting to visit Montana for years, and it felt a little risky during the pandemic. But mostly we were in the wilderness, especially on hikes. Such a beautiful place. And I’m so glad i had that jam! Mine looked different, but tasted very similar.

    • Exactly. I’m trying to find some now to hopefully make and freeze to serve with our thanksgiving turkey. I think that would be a lovely combination! But i might have waited too long.

  • Mimi, I’m so impressed by this! I’ve never even considered smoking a fruit. But I am such a cherry fan! These sound truly amazing! Love your serving suggestion too!!

    • Thanks! I’m so happy that i was able to try that jam, or chutney as they called it 😳. It was fun recreating!

  • The smoky flavor with the cherries is brilliant. I would love this with so many things. Looks amazing on the cheese! :-) ~Valentina

    • It turned out so well. I’m still not sure if what I had at the restaurant were dried cherries originally, but what I did worked out well so I’ll stick with it. I’m awaiting a shipment of cherries so I can make more and freeze. I think it would be fantastic with the thanksgiving turkey!

  • Your holiday in July sounds amazing Mimi. I’m jealous! We’re not sure when we will be able to fly again here in the UK at the moment due to the quarantine rule. Anyway this smoked cherry jam looks amazing. I’ve never smoked cherries before. Another thing to add to the list of “must tries”. Ha ha! Hope you are well!

    • I would never have thought of smoking any kind of fruit. Now I want to smoke apples! We were hesitant about taking our vacation. The flights were all full, which isn’t what they claim about seating people.

  • Wow, what an intriguing condiment! I love smoky flavors and I loved that you used cherry wood chips to smoke the cherries. It could be nice to catch the drippings from the cherries as they smoke. I think cherries are out of season already here, but if I still see cherries, I’ll have to try this.

    • There were really no drippings to speak of. Just smoke in the stove-top smoker. And then i dehydrated them a bit so they were less watery. It was a great experiment. I just made the jam again yesterday, but I used hickory. Amazon helped me find cherries! I want to serve the jam at Thanksgiving!

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