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Easy Cranberry Jam Recipe

A jar of cranberry jam with cranberries tossed around it

This cranberry jam recipe is as easy and uncomplicated as it gets. You only need three ingredients, no special equipment, and it is super quick to make. And: This no-fuss cranberry jam tastes delicious. It is not too sweet and has a tasty, deep flavor with a hint of bitterness. This jam can be enjoyed with many things, but it will certainly be a fantastic addition to your breakfast table.

The more I’ve made jams at home, the more I’ve come to love these niche jam recipes. While classic jams like strawberry or raspberry certainly deserve their status, there are so many delicious, more unusual recipes that deserve more attention. I’ve had so much fun with my strawberry tree jam, sea buckthorn jam, and rose hip jam. Well, this cranberry jam is certainly another top-notch recipe!

This jam has similarities to the cranberry sauce that is commonly enjoyed around Thanksgiving in North America. I like a little more consistency in this cranberry jam. It also tends to be a bit sweeter and allows for other ingredients such as juices and spices. However, I am keeping it simple today. You can also serve this cranberry jam as cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving if you like.

Ingredients for Cranberry Jam

Ingredients for making cranberry jam
  • 200g cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 100g plain white sugar
  • 200ml water

This jam is a simple recipe with only three ingredients needed. The only thing to make sure of is that you use fresh or frozen cranberries, not dried. Since cranberries are naturally high in pectin, you can use plain white sugar for this recipe.

This recipe also leaves a lot of room for customization. You can introduce and pair a variety of flavors with the cranberries in this jam. A classic would be to replace some of the water with orange juice or add organic orange zest. Alternatively, other winter spices like clove, vanilla, cinnamon, or star anise can be nice additions. I’m always careful about adding spices to jams, as they can quickly become overpowering. I like them to support the main ingredient, so I’d recommend adding the spice as a hint to the jam. If you plan to can the jam, you should add some additional lemon juice for higher acidity.

Cranberry Jam Recipe:

Cranberries with water and sugar in a saucepan

Making cranberry jam is super easy. First, wash the cranberries thoroughly. Put your water in a pot or saucepan and heat it. Dissolve the sugar in the water and add the cranberries. Let the cranberries simmer for a total of 30 minutes. They will burst a few minutes into cooking. You can use a spatula to break up the cranberries as they cook. For this jam, I like to keep the texture of the cranberries inside and not strain it. It has such a rustic feel that way. If you like, you can also strain the jam. Straining will reduce the yield a bit.

Check the consistency:

Simmered Cranberry Jam in stainless steel pan

You can do a wrinkle test to see if the cranberry jam is ready. In my experience, this step is not necessary because the cranberries are so high in pectin that the jam doesn’t have any problems becoming jelly.

Storing the Cranberry Jam:

Cranberry Jam in a glass Jar

Once finished cooking, transfer the cranberry jam into a sterile jar while still hot. You can store the cranberry jam in the fridge and consume it immediately. It should last around three weeks like this. If you want to can the cranberry jam, I’d recommend adding a tableful of lemon juice per jar to the recipe before water canning the jars. Always make sure your jars are properly canned and have a vacuum before consuming.

I hope you enjoyed this simple cranberry jam recipe. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Some more recipe inspirations:

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A jar of cranberry jam with cranberries tossed around it

Easy Cranberry Jam Recipe

This cranberry jam recipe is as simple and delicious as it gets. Learn how to make it yourself with only three ingredients.

  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 1 jar 1x

Ingredients

Scale

200g Cranberry (fresh or frozen)

100g plain white sugar

200 ml water

Optional: 1 tbsp lemon juice (for canning)

Instructions

Firstly, give the cranberries a thorough wash. Add your water to a pot or saucepan, and heat it.

Dissolve the sugar into the water, and add the cranberries. Simmer the cranberries for a total of 30 minutes. If planning to can the cranberry jam, add lemon juice as well.

Once cooking, break the cranberries up using a spatula.

You can do a wrinkle test to check if the cranberry jam is ready.

Once finished cooking, transfer the cranberry jam into a sterile jar while still hot. You can can the jam using water bath canning or keep it in the fridge if you plan to enjoy it right away. 

Notes

You can introduce and pair a variety of additional flavors. A classic would be substituting some of the water for orange juice, or to add organic orange zest. Alternatively, other winter spices can make nice additions, like clove, vanilla, cinnamon or star anise.

I like to not strain the jam but to keep some texture from the cranberries. If you prefer a smooth jam, pass it through a strainer before canning.

  • Author: Ivo
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Jam
  • Cuisine: North American
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Cranberry Jam Recipe

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