Love and Olive Oil

Cranberry Jam

Thanksgiving Cranberry Jam Recipe

In continuing with what could be our most successful Thanksgiving ever, this just might be the best cranberry sauce ever.

Our cranberry dilemma usually consists of Taylor and I wanting chunky sauce, spiked with unusual flavors and additions, and Robin wanting the plain old, jellied style sauce from a can.

I just won’t let her buy canned.

This year, I purchased two bags of cranberries as usual, expecting to make one batch of one kind, and a second batch of another. But then I had an idea. And ended up doing one giant batch of what Robin has dubbed the best cranberry sauce she’s ever had.

Cranberry jam, to be more precise.

Last year, our jellied sauce was a big fail. The gelatin over performed, leaving us with a very tough, bland, jiggling mess.

I took a different approach this year. Drawing from my months of experience canning jam, I swapped out the gelatin in favor of the more subtle properties of pectin.

Additionally, unlike last year, instead of straining the cooked berries from the juice (leaving very little flavor behind), I popped the whole batch of cooked sauce into the blender and liquefied it. Genius. You get all of the flavor with none of the chunk. The best of both worlds. A single sauce that will please us all.

Cranberry Jam

Makes 3 pints.

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2 (12oz) bags fresh cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup water or juice (we used POM Pomegranate-Cranberry juice)
1/2 box low-sugar pectin


Rinse berries. Pick out any under ripe or soft berries.

Combine berries and juice or water in a large pot. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes, until most of the berries are popped and the sauce starts to feel mushy. Don’t cook for more than 10 minutes or you will start to break down the natural pectin in the berries.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Working in batches, liquefy sauce in a blender or push through a food mill. Return to pan.

Stir in the pectin until no lumps remain and bring to a boil. Add sugar. Bring it back to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat. If serving immediately, simply pour into a mold or serving container, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until set.

You can also can this sauce for later use, follow standard instructions for processing and boil in a water bath for 15 minutes for pint jars.

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  1. I just found your blog via the Pomona’s pectin website, which I also recently discovered and am in love with! Wondering if you know how I could use this recipe with Pomona’s? Thank you and can’t wait to continue perusing your site.

  2. What size box of pectin?

    • Pretty sure it would be one of the standard size boxes – looks like the surejell version is 1.75oz in size. I’m honestly not sure as this was so long ago (I seem to recall using Ball pectin but they don’t make boxes anymore). I’ve actually updated this recipe using Pomona’s pectin and it’s included in the Winter edition of my jam ebook if you’re interested!

  3. Used this recipe and it turned out great. I used orange juice for a little citrus note. I made the jam to top rosemary shortbread cookies and it was a perfect combination! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh goodness. Now I will be stalking the produce department of the grocery store even worse waiting in hopes of fresh cranberries!!! Unbelievably, somehow I managed to use up a considerable stash of the frozen little beauties and must wait again. This year: I hoard them! (And make your jam….batches and batches….) Thank you for the yummy inspiration.

  5. Gorgeous! I’ve never made jam before, but this just might change my mind!

  6. I had about 8 oz of cranberries hanging out in my fridge, so I cut your recipe down and made a single pint for sandwiches. This stuff is delicious! I think it would be perfect on thanksgiving leftover sandwiches :)

  7. i love so much cranberry, and cranberry jam too ! thanks

  8. You are an artist! Who would have thought there was such a brilliant taste in cranberries. We found your site on today and really liked it. I like it so much I have bookmarked it and forwarded it to several folks.

  9. I like my sauces, jams, jellies and what not, chunky! The colour of this is just brilliant!

  10. This year I did Cranberry Sauce (the homemade chunky kind) with Grand Marnier. The leftovers ended up in layered Almond Cranberry Bars. The bars disappeared a lot faster than the sauce on Thanksgiving day.

  11. I use cranberries in several different jams I make, it has enough natural pectin I usually don’t have to add any. Try your recipe again and leave out the pectin, you should get a good jam texture without adding anything.
    Good Luck

  12. Ooooh that looks great!

  13. Kudos to you for such an easy and fabulous jam – perfect!
    :-) Mandy

  14. I’m definitely against the canned cranberry sauce too. This jam, on the other hand, looks fantastic! I’d love some on toast in the morning :)

  15. Just added this to my Thanksgiving file as a definite for next year!
    Looks perfect!

  16. YES! I have been wanting to make cranberry jam. This looks great and I love that you used POM juice. I have a big bottle I bought at Costco and tons of frozen fresh cranberries. I hear jam calling me… :)

  17. Ooh, looks so good! I refused to make cranberry sauce, because in trying to please everyone, I please no one. This looks like it could be the answer to that! :o)

  18. Yeah I had a cranberry sauce fail this thanksgiving :( It all went well in theory, but practically… nah. But I’m definitely gana try this method, cuz I smeared some of my cranberry sauce on a biscuit and it was PHENOM!!!!!

  19. Looks delicious! like jam! I’ll have to try

  20. I am a bit obsessed with jams and canning this year. Just about to start my spicy pepper jelly. Now you have just added a new jam to my list – this looks supreme. Thank you for sharing!!

  21. Thanks for the recipe. I would love to try this at home. Great for sandwich!

  22. That sounds like a great cranberry sauce/jam. You are so right, straining out the chunks leaves it rather bland. Liquefying is a great idea!

  23. what a delicious looking jam!

    have a nice time,

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