It is so easy to make cranberry jam – it’s done in ten minutes! Plus, this homemade jam is sweet and tart and wonderful on bread, as a filling for sandwich cookies, and in cakes and cupcakes.
People tend to think that making jam is a huge ordeal. You’ll be shocked to see just how simple it is.
Homemade Jam Making Myths – Debunked
- You need fresh fruit to make jam. Just about everyone I know who makes jam has a garden. They make jam to squirrel away the summer’s bounty in jars for enjoyment all year long. I made this cranberry jam because I like jam. I used frozen cranberries and intend to consume it all right away.
- Jam making is an all-day event. I made this cranberry jam in ten minutes. That’s just ten minutes, people!
- You need special equipment and sterilized jars to make jam. Sure, if you plan to eat your jam next year, you’d better be careful about how you prepare and package it. I don’t want to hear about anyone dying from botulism because they stuck this jam in their basement in an unsterilized glass jar for two years. But, if you plan to eat your jam within two weeks, you can store it in your refrigerator with no sterilization needed.
What Are the Key Ingredients in Cranberry Jam
This recipe works with fresh or frozen cranberries. There is no need to defrost the frozen cranberries first. You can use them straight from the freezer.
Liquid Fruit Pectin
Fruit pectin is the key ingredient in all jams, whether you add it or it comes from cooking down the fruit that you’re using. Pectin is sold in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. When it is heated together with sugar, it causes the jam to thicken.
Be sure to to use liquid fruit pectin for this recipe. If you only have powdered fruit pectin, you’ll need to make changes to the recipe in order for it to work. Read the pectin guide on Getty Stewart for details.
How to Make Cranberry Jam
Crush the cranberries in a food processor until you have cranberry mush (if they are frozen, it will be more like cranberry powder).
Bring them to a boil with sugar and butter.
Quickly stir in the liquid fruit pectin and boil for one more minute.
Remove from the heat.
You can store the jam in a bowl, Tupperware, glass jar, or whatever you’d like in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
I like to flavor the jam with a little orange zest. It would also be great with fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.
You can also use this same jam-making technique with other berries like cherries or blueberries.
Great Ways to Use this Jam
- Spread it on crumpets, English muffins, or challah.
- Use it as a filling in cookies like thumbprint cookies or hamantashen.
- Spread it between layers of my best vanilla cake.
- Use it instead of cranberry relish as a filling for cranberry hand pies.
- 1 pound frozen or fresh cranberries
- 1 2/3 cups sugar if you prefer a sweeter jam, you can add more sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon butter
- 1 teaspoon orange zest optional
- 3 tablespoons liquid fruit pectin be sure to use the liquid kind and not the powdered kind
- Crush the cranberries in a food processor until you have cranberry mush (if they are frozen, it will be more like cranberry powder).
- Bring the cranberries, sugar, and butter to a full rolling boil in a medium-sized heavy-bottom saucepan on high heat, stirring periodically.
- Quickly stir in the liquid fruit pectin.
- Boil for one more minute.
- Remove from heat, store in a bowl, Tupperware, glass jar, or whatever you'd like in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.