How to Make Cranberry Jam

Make cranberry jam with your extra cranberries!
Make cranberry jam with your extra cranberries!

What to do With Extra Cranberries?

Do you have extra cranberries leftover after Thanksgiving? Or maybe the store has a huge cart full of these little beauties on deep discount and you’re wondering how you might take advantage of the savings? Well, how about making a batch of Cranberry Jam? You can process this yummy jam in a hot water bath canner and save those sweet tart jewels for later. You can even give a few jars away as homemade Christmas presents…what a sweet gift to receive!

Cranberry jam would make an awesome gift. :)
Cranberry jam would make an awesome gift. ūüôā

Never Heard of Cranberry Jam?

That’s ok, I hadn’t either. But while our friends were visiting on Thanksgiving, Terri mentioned that she made fresh cranberry jam by cooking the berries with just enough water in the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching and adding sugar to taste. She didn’t use pectin or process any of the jam but ate it fresh instead. I wanted to make some jam to put up for later, so I started searching for recipes online.

None of my search results were really what I was looking for. There was cranberry jam with apples or lemon juice in it. They didn’t use pectin either. So I winged it and here is what I came up with.


Mmmmm...cranberry jam on cranberry bread.
Mmmmm…cranberry jam on cranberry bread.

Cranberry Jam Recipe

  • 24 oz of fresh cranberries (approximately 6 cups whole, fresh berries)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp powdered bulk pectin
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar

Fill hot water bath canner and put on high heat. Wash and sterilize 1/2 pint jelly jars and screw tops. Place canning lids in small pan (you will need to cover them with very hot water when almost ready to use). While the canner of water is heating, prepare your ingredients.

Mix 1/2 cup of sugar and pectin in a bowl. Measure the remainder of sugar into another bowl and set aside. Wash cranberries and pick out the mushy ones. Put them in a medium sauce pan with the water. When the water in canner is almost boiling, you can start cooking your jam. Turn heat to medium high and cook until the berries are soft. Add the sugar pectin mixture and stir constantly until fruit reaches a rolling boil. Add the remaining sugar and stir constantly until jam reaches a full rolling boil. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Turn heat off and ladle into sterile half pint jelly jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe rim, place metal lid and ring on jar. Screw on just until tight. Process in water bath canner for 5 minutes for elevations of 1,000′ or less, 10 minutes for 1001- 6000′, and 15 minutes for over 6000.’

Use a jar lifter to remove hot jam from canner. Set on heavy cloth on counter to cool. Make sure lids seal. There will be a pinging sound for each lid that seals, and the lid will not move up and down when pressed. Makes approximately 6 half pint jars per batch.


Have  you ever made cranberry jam? I am looking forward to trying some additions to this recipe, such as orange juice in place of water or maybe even the apples one recipe called for.  What is your favorite kind of jam?

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