Add a tart but sweet twist to your holiday dishes with sugar-free cranberry jam. With a few simple ingredients, you will have cranberry jam with the perfect balance of sweet and tart flavor.
Making cranberry jam is not just about creating a tasty spread; it’s about capturing the essence of holiday joy in a jar. This cranberry jam will transform your holiday meals into a delicious masterpiece. So, grab those aprons, unleash your inner chef, and let’s turn those tart cranberries into a jar of pure homemade magic!
What Is Cranberry Jam Made Of
Cranberry jam is made with:
- Cranberries: Use fresh or frozen cranberries.
- Monk Fruit Sweetener: A natural sugar-free sweetener that sweetens the cranberry jam. Use granulated sugar instead if you don’t mind using real sugar.
- Lemon or Lime Zest & Juice: The acid balances out the tart and sweet flavors and helps the jam solidify.
- Fruit Pectin: Helps the jam to set. You can leave the pectin out of the recipe if you want to.
- Water: Water helps thin out the jam and give it the right consistency.
How To Make Cranberry Jam
Add the cranberries, sugar-free sweetener, lemon or lime zest, and lemon or lime juice into a medium pot and stir to combine.
Set it over medium-high heat and let it come to a boil.
Decrease the heat to low, cover the jam with a lid, and cook it for 30-45 minutes, stirring periodically until the cranberries cook down.
Place the cranberry jam into a blender, add the water, and blend until smooth.
Add the cranberry jam back into the same medium pot, add the fruit pectin, and stir to combine. Cook the jam over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes until it thickens.
Remove the cranberry jam from the stove and let it cool completely. Use it immediately, or place it into sterilized jars and place it in the fridge if you are not using it immediately.
Tips For Making Cranberry Jam
Cranberry jam is very easy to make. However, these tips will ensure your cranberry jam turns out spectacular.
Use quality fresh or frozen cranberries to make this cranberry jam. If you are using frozen cranberries, thaw them in the fridge overnight or place them in a colander and rinse them with cold water 2-3 times to start the thawing process before making the jam.
Zest the peel, not the pith. Do not zest the pith of the lime or lemon. The pith is the white part of the citrus fruit. It has a bitter taste that changes the flavor of the cranberry jam.
Stirring is important. Stirring the cranberry jam often prevents it from sticking to the pan or burning.
Add more or less sweetener. This cranberry jam recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of sweetener. However, you can add more or less sweetener depending on how sweet you want the jam to be.
Blending is optional. You do not have to blend the cranberry jam. I blended it because I wanted my jam to have a smoother texture. However, if you want your jam to have more pieces of whole fruit, do not blend it.
Add more water. If the cranberry jam is too thick to blend, add more water, 2 tablespoons at a time until it blends easily and reaches your desired consistency.
Strain it. If you want the cranberry jam to have a super smooth texture, strain it. Place a fine-mesh sieve on top of a large bowl, then pour the jam into the sieve and use a spoon to help push it through the strainer. You will have a seed-free, velvety, smooth cranberry jam.
Let the cranberry jam cool completely. The cranberry jam continues to thicken as it cools.
This cranberry jam is delicious as it is. However, there are lots of ways to customize it to your liking.
- Orange Twist: Add the zest of 1 orange and half a cup of orange juice instead of lemon or lime zest and juice. The combination of tart cranberries and the bright, aromatic flavor of orange creates a delightful, sweet citrus twist.
- Cinnamon Delight: A 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon is all you need to elevate this cranberry jam. The sweet and spicy undertones of cinnamon complement the tanginess of cranberries, adding a cozy feel to your jam.
- Ginger Surprise: Grate some fresh ginger into your cranberry jam for a zingy kick. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger instead if you don’t have fresh ginger. Ginger’s unique flavor profile adds a refreshing and slightly spicy element that pairs wonderfully with cranberries.
- Vanilla Bliss: Infuse a touch of pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste into your jam for a subtle and fragrant undertone. Cut a fresh vanilla bean in half, scrape the seeds out, and add it to the jam if you want a stronger vanilla flavor. The vanilla enhances the sweetness and rounds out the overall flavor profile.
- Mixed Berry Extravaganza: Combine cranberries with other berries like raspberries or blueberries for a vibrant jam with a complex flavor. This medley of berries adds complexity and a spectrum of colors to your final creation.
- Apple Infusion: Add 2 peeled diced apples and 1/2 cup of your favorite apple cider to your cranberry jam. The apples will add a natural sweetness that pairs perfectly with the tart cranberries.
When Is The Best Time To Make Cranberry Jam
Cranberries are the delicious jewels of the holiday season. You can find them in your local grocery stores in late September all the way through December.
They peak in October and November. So it’s best to make cranberry jam from October to December.
The Best Cranberries For Cranberry Jam
There’s something magical about working with fresh, seasonal produce, and cranberries are no exception. Fresh cranberries are best for making jam. However, you can also use frozen cranberries instead.
When picking cranberries, look for firm, plump ones with a scarlet red color. They should give slightly when you squeeze them.
Is Cranberry Jam The Same As Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry jam and cranberry sauce are similar in that they are both spreads. However, they have different textures and varying degrees of sweetness.
Cranberry jam has a smoother consistency that is easier to spread than cranberry sauce. It also contains a larger amount of sugar to give the jam a sweeter flavor.
In contrast, cranberry sauce has a coarser texture than cranberry jam. Cranberry sauce also has a tarter flavor since it contains less sugar.
What’s The Difference Between Cranberry Jelly And Jam
Cranberry jelly is made from cranberry juice. It has a smoother texture than cranberry jam. On the other hand, cranberry jam is made from whole cranberries. It is coarser and has a slightly darker color than cranberry jelly.
How Do You Eat Cranberry Jam
There are many ways you can use cranberry jam. You can spread cranberry jam on toast, biscuits, and scones.
You can make cakes, cheesecakes, waffles, pancakes, and cranberry jam cookies with cranberry jam. You can add it to your cheeseboard or charcuterie board or use it as a topping for desserts.
Lastly, you can add a bit of cranberry jam to your glaze for meatloaf. It will give it a tart, sweet flavor that takes the meatloaf to another level.
Storing Cranberry Jam
Store the cranberry jam in a Mason jar or airtight container. The cranberry jam will last in the fridge for 3 weeks.
You can also freeze the cranberry jam. Just place the cranberry jam in a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze it. It will last for 6-8 months.
More Christmas Recipes:
Keto Eggnog Bundt Cake
Keto Chocolate Peppermint Cake
Walnut Cranberry Eggnog Bread
32 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories11
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 0g 0%
- Cholesterol 0mg 0%
- Sodium 2mg 1%
- Potassium 26mg 1%
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 0.6g 0%
- Sugars 0.5g
- Protein 0g 0%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.