First off, if anyone can come up with a better name than Holiday Jam, please let me know. At any rate, this is a little bit strawberry, a little bit cranberry, some spice, some sweet, and some tang. It pretty much has it all.
The original recipe that I based this on was a Ball Recipe that called for 5 lbs of sugar and powdered pectin. At that level of sugar, I’m not sure how you even taste anything else. I’ve cut the recipe in half to make it a small batch, and I’ve cut the sugar way down and taken out the powdered pectin. I don’t like the taste of powdered pectin and it isn’t necessary anyway, because cranberries are so high in natural pectin.
I’m pretty darn happy with the end result on this jam. It would be great as a hostess gift over the holidays. We are planning to use it over cream cheese or goat cheese on a cheese plate. I think it would also be great on turkey sandwiches. Honestly, this one, I’ve just been eating straight up on crackers. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am!
- 4 cups frozen strawberries, slightly thawed
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 orange, peeled and seeded
- zest of one orange (from above), finely shredded or chopped
- 1/2 t cinnamon
- 1/2 t fresh ginger
- 1/4 t nutmeg
- 1/8 t cloves
- 3 cups of granulated sugar
- Prepare a boiling water bath and 5 half-pint (8 oz) jars or 10 4-oz jelly jars. A boiling water bath can be done in any stock pot that allows for water to cover the jars by at least 1-inch. A tall stock pot is fine to use, just place a towel or rack in the bottom so the jars don’t sit directly on the heat source. If your stock pot doesn’t fit all of your jelly jars (it may not if you are doing 4-oz jars), only jar up the ones that will fit in the pot, keeping the rest of the jam warm on the stove while the first batch of jars processes. Once the first jars are done processing, jar the remaining jam and process in a second batch. Alternately, you can just jar any extra jam to eat right away or freeze.
- Wash and prepare lids and rings, according to the package directions.
- Place strawberries, cranberries and peeled orange in food processor and pulse to medium to finely chopped, but not pureed. It will break down some as it cooks, so it is better to go with larger pieces than too small.
- Combine the fruit mixture in a large skillet or dutch oven. The skillet allows for more moisture loss over the surface, which reduces cooking time and maintains the fresh fruit flavor. Stir the fruit over medium-high heat until they are combined, about 2 minutes.
- Add the spices and sugar.
- Stirring regularly over high heat, bring the fruit to a boil and cook until it bubbles and looks quite thick.
- This will take about 15-20 minutes. It’s done when you pull a spatula through the jam and it doesn’t immediately run back into the cleared space. You can also check the temperature with a candy thermometer – it’s done when it hits 220 F.
- When the jam is done cooking, remove the pot from heat and allow to rest 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Skim any foam off the surface and reserve. Ladle the de-foamed jam into the prepared jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims with a wet paper towel, remove air bubbles, if necessary.
- Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
- After the processing time is complete, remove the jars from the water bath and place on a towel on the counter to cool. Allow to cool, untouched, for 24 hours and then check seals.
- If you don’t want to process this recipe (or if you have a jar that doesn’t seal) – just jar the jams up to step 8 and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks. It will also freeze well.