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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.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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