Cranberry Jam is an easy to make condiment that is perfect for breakfast and brunch!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Cranberry jam is a sweet and flavorful spread made from cranberries, sugar, and often some form of acid (such as lemon juice) to balance the flavors and aid in the gelling process.
It is similar to other types of fruit preserves or jams and is commonly used as a topping for various foods, including toast, biscuits, pancakes, and desserts.
This Cranberry Jam is such a fun and delicious jam to have on hand, especially during the holidays.
I have really gotten into making homemade jam because they are SO good and fun to make! My favorite to date is my cherry jam.
Homemade jams are great for traditional jam condiment needs like breakfast recipes, added to ice cream, and I also LOVE serving them on charcuterie boards!
Cranberry Jam does lean toward the classic cranberry sauce that you think of for Thanksgiving and other holidays.
But it is different in that it does not have the extra warm spice flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
This recipe is gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, and dairy free.
Full quantities and ingredients notes can be found in the recipe card below.
This is what you need to make this easy homemade cranberry jam recipe:
- Cranberries – fresh or frozen will work. I like to stock up on fresh cranberries in December or January when the holidays are over and freeze them!
- Lemon Juice – you could also swap out the lemon for orange juice or orange zest if desired!
That is it! A three ingredient jam!
This is the equipment you need for this recipe:
- Small Pot
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Mason Jar (or other container for storing)
It is so incredibly easy to make homemade jam.
Fresh cranberries come in bags that range from 10-12 ounces. Just use the whole bag – the slight difference in weight will not be an issue.
You can also use frozen cranberries. No need to thaw, just toss them in!
Cranberries have natural pectin which means it will lead to the sauce thickening a little and getting an almost jelly type texture to it.
This is exactly what we want here! If at any point it is too thick or too gelatinous, just add some water to it to thin it out.
Cook the jam over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries are breaking down and the jam thickens. This tends to take about 15 minutes.
And when it comes to mashing the berries for the jam, mash as much or as little as you want.
Using Cranberry Jam
There are many ways to use this cranberry recipe!
- Spread: It is commonly spread on toast, English muffins, bagels, and other baked goods.
- Topping: It can be used as a topping for pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, and yogurt.
- Fillings: It’s used as a filling for pastries, tarts, and desserts like thumbprint cookies.
- Accompaniment: It pairs well with cheeses, especially during holiday gatherings.
Storing the Jam
I like to put my jam into half pint jars. Full pint jars also work or you can use any air tight container.
The jam can keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks before it starts to go bad and mold. Another reason why smaller jars are great.
Additional jam that you will not use fast enough can easily be frozen.
Either freeze in those small jars (or even a resealable bag) or you can freeze in portions for easy thawing.
Just spoon out the jam into portions on a parchment or silicone baking mat and freeze. Then put them all in a large bag and you can just remove one at a time as needed.
If desired, you can pressure can the jam with a water bath. Be sure to research proper canning procedures online and make sure the jam is acidic enough for this process.
Modifications and Substitutions
You can use either fresh or frozen berries for this recipe.
You can make a small batch or increase this recipe size to make a large batch as desired.
Want to add a little warmth? Add just a pinch of cinnamon. If you go too heavy on the cinnamon or other warm spices, it will start to taste like a holiday cranberry sauce!
I like to not mash it up too much so that there are still some pieces of the fruit in the jam!
Jam is made with the whole fruit, often including the skins. This makes it chunkier and with some texture.
Jelly is made by using just the juice of the given fruit.
I am completely on team jam and love the texture that using the fruit brings!
They are very similar. Cranberry jam tends to be sweeter. Cranberry sauce tends to have more savory flavors and spices.
Cranberries are known for their high content of antioxidants and potential health benefits. They are rich in vitamins C and E, as well as dietary fiber. However, keep in mind that cranberry jam is still a sugary product, so consumption should be moderate, especially for those watching their sugar intake.
Cranberry jam is great with breakfast foods such as toast, muffins, pancakes, oatmeal, and other baked goods.
It is also great with desserts like cheesecake, ice cream,
More Cranberry Recipes
More Homemade Jam Recipes
- Place the cranberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan.
- Bring the berries to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer to break up the berries, approximately 15 minutes.
- Use a potato masher or fork to mash the fruit as much or little as desired.
- The jam will be somewhat thick. Add water if needed to get your desired consistency. Add more sugar if it is too tart for your liking.
- Store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Or freeze.