Make Cranberry Jam this Fall!
Make cranberry jam when these tart fruits are fresh in the fall! Cranberry Jam makes a wonderful gift at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s also delicious spread on toast, muffins, or scones. So why not make a batch or two to preserve those wonderful cranberries for winter?!
Make this jam for a Thanksgiving gift and dress it up with some free printable Thanksgiving Gift Tags!
I’ve shared the complete instructions for making and canning this tasty jam so you may create your own! You’ll also find free printable gift tags and recipe cards below for dressing up your homemade jam for gift-giving!
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.
Update: Since I first wrote this post, other websites have shared their own recipes for this tasty jam. Am I a trendsetter? 🙂
I started from scratch and created my own recipe. I did use pectin to ensure that the jam set, however, I think that you could make a tasty jam without the pectin.
Cranberry Jam Canning Recipe
Here are the step-by-step instructions for making and canning your jam. Feel free to print out this recipe and save it in your cookbook or preserving journal.
- 6 cups fresh cranberries coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 3 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 tbsps bulk pectin 1 package pectin
- Put a hot water bath canner on the burner and fill with enough water to cover jelly jars, with an extra inch of water over the top of jars. Turn the burner on high and cover with the lid.
- Wash jelly jars and screw bands. Place jelly jars in the canner to sterilize.
- While you wait for the water bath to come to a boil, prepare your cranberries. Wash, sort, and coarsely chop the berries.
- When the water in the canner comes to a full rolling boil, boil jelly jars for 20 minutes to sterilize them.
- Measure the pectin into a small bowl and add 1/4 cup of the sugar to the pectin. Combine and set aside.
- Measure the rest of the sugar into a bowl and set aside.
- Prepare canning jar lids according to the manufacturer's directions. (Most jar lids are no longer designed to be boiled, be sure to check.) Pour boiling water over screw bands and set aside.
- Once the water bath with jelly jars comes to a full rolling boil, begin cooking the cranberries to make the jam.
- Place cranberries and water in a large saucepan on a medium-high burner. Cook until cranberries are tender and come to a full rolling boil.
- Add the pectin and sugar mixture to the cranberries, stirring constantly to combine the pectin and prevent the jam from scorching.
- Bring the cranberry and pectin mixture to a full rolling boil. Add the remaining sugar all at once and stir in.
- Stir the apple jam mixture constantly and return to a full rolling boil.
- Boil jam for 1 minute, then remove the pan from the burner.
- Use a jar lifter to remove sterile jelly jars from canner and place them on a heavy towel on your countertop.
- Place a canning funnel in a jelly jar and use a ladle to fill with jam. Work quickly but carefully to prevent the jam from cooling.
- Wipe rim of jar clean, place canning lid on the jar, then screw canning band in place until finger tight.
- Use the jar lifter to place the filled jar into the boiling water bath.
- Repeat until all of the jam has been placed in the canner. Place lid on the canner and return to a full rolling boil.
- Process jam for 10 minutes once the water returns to a full rolling boil. Remove jars from canner with the jar lifter and place them on a heavy towel to protect your countertop. Allow jars to cool without disturbing the jars or screw bands until jam reaches room temperature.
- When the jam has cooled completely, remove screw bands and wash the jars to remove any jam that may have leaked during processing. Check each jar to be sure it has sealed properly. A properly sealed lid will not spring up and down when pressed with your fingers.
- If any of the jars did not seal properly, refrigerate them and use the jam within 3 weeks.
Free Printable Gift Tags and Recipe Cards for Your Homemade Jam!
I created some freebies for you! Print out these gift tags or recipe cards to attach to this homemade jam for giving to friends and family.
Print out the sheet you’d like, cut, and use a hole punch on one corner. Then attach the tag or card to your jam using ribbon.
You may print the recipe cards below on one side, or you may print both sides to create a small booklet to fold and attach to your jam.
Save Some Money on Your Jam!
Although I like to make some of this jam before Thanksgiving to give as gifts, I have to pay full price for the cranberries. After Thanksgiving, I sometimes find cranberries marked down for quick sale. Then I like to buy a bunch for a batch or two for our own family. It helps to save a little money and I can give some for Christmas gifts too!
Create Even More Homemade Jam!
I’ve made quite a few batches of jam over the years. Here are some helpful posts I’ve shared about my experience:
Easy Cranberry Jelly with Free Printable Labels
For more information on home canning, visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
What is your favorite kind of jam? Leave a comment!
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