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Three Recipes for Cranberry Preserves and Jam

Cranberry preserves make a lovely gift.

Cranberry preserves make a lovely gift.

Cranberries Are Delicious

Jams, jellies, and preserves make great gifts. Whether you create a variety basket of jewel-hued jams for a birthday or Christmas gift or a single jar as a hostess gift, home-cooked preserves, jams, and jellies are always appreciated.

You do not need a pressure canner to process these delicious cranberry preserves and jams—you can use any large, deep pot with a rack set in the bottom.

Cranberries are a popular winter fruit due to their health benefits, delicious flavor, and attractive red coloration. If you crave the wonderful taste of cranberries all year, these recipes will last until next winter.

Recipes on This Page

  1. Cranberry preserves
  2. Cranberry holiday jam
  3. Cranberry jam with no pectin


Before cooking the preserves (or jam), make sure that you have the necessary materials. You will need:

  • 1 large pot for cooking the jam
  • 1 very large pot for the water bath to seal the jars
  • 1 metal rack to place at the bottom of the hot water bath
  • Jars, rim, and lids - 8 oz. sizes work best for jams, jellies, and preserves. You can buy a case that includes everything or, you can reuse old jars and rims. Make sure that you have new lids to ensure a tight seal.
  • 1 large bowl for the measured sugar (always measure into a bowl first, then put the sugar in the pot).
  • 1 large bowl or container for the fruit (always measure all the chopped fruit first, then put it in pot).
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Long-handled cooking spoon
  • Tongs for lifting jars out of hot water
  • Apron (it's messy)
Cranberries, citrus, and sugar mixed

Cranberries, citrus, and sugar mixed

1. Cranberry Preserves


  • 6 cups cranberries
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 orange
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Finely chopped orange peel (optional)
  • 1 pouch liquid fruit pectin
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 slim sliver margarine or butter (to prevent foaming)
Ingredients for cranberry preserves

Ingredients for cranberry preserves


  1. Wash, rinse, and then sterilize the jars, rims, and lids. Pour boiling water into jars. Fill a bowl with rims and lids and cover it with boiling water. Let them stand until it's time to use them, then quickly dry them with a clean towel
  2. Chop the orange.
  3. Rinse and coarsely chop the cranberries. Measure and pour into a large pot.
  4. Measure the sugar and pour it into the same large pot.
  5. Add the chopped orange (including peel), orange juice, margarine or butter, and water to the cranberries and sugar. Mix. Let stand for 10 minutes. (Doesn't it look pretty?)
  6. Turn the heat to high. Bring the cranberry mixture to a full rolling boil while stirring continuously.
  7. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring continuously.
  8. Remove from heat and add pectin (do not return to heat).
  9. Stir and skim off the foam for 5 minutes. If you added the margarine, there should be very little foam, but stirring keeps the fruit from all floating up at the top.
  10. Pour into clean jars to 1/4" of rims.
  11. Clean jar rims and edges.
  12. Set lids on top and attach rims, not too tightly; you want air to escape during processing.
  13. Place jars in a hot water bath (boiling water) for 10 minutes to seal.
  14. Remove jars from hot water and let stand.
  15. If you press on the lid and it depresses, the lid has not sealed. You can return the jar to the hot water bath or turn the jar upside down. If you hear a click, they have sealed.


  • This recipe makes about 8 1/2 cups.
  • It's good to keep that extra 1/2 cup or so in a mug or unsealed jar so you can check the consistency, texture, and, of course, taste. Why seal it if you are going to eat it right away?
  • Store the jars in a cool, dark place.

2. Cranberry Holiday Jam


  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries, crushed
  • 3 ounces liquid pectin
  • Sliver of margarine to avoid foam


  1. Chop the cranberries.
  2. Cut the orange and lemon into quarters. Remove the seeds and grind them in a food processor.
  3. Combine the ground fruit, water, sugar, and crushed strawberries in a large pot. Stir to blend.
  4. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Bring to a full, rolling boil.
  6. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  7. Remove from heat. Stir in pectin.
  8. Return to heat and boil again for 2 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and stir for 5 minutes.
  10. Pour into clean, sterilized jars and seal as above.

3. Cranberry Jam With No Pectin

I was surprised that this would work as it uses no pectin. But the mixture thickens and gels with time instead of added pectin. I made this one last year, and it's delicious!


  • 2 (12-ounce) bags fresh cranberries
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup water


  1. Lightly mash the cranberries.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Lower the temperature and simmer, stirring often, until thick, about 20 minutes.
  4. Pour into clean sterilized jars, clean the edges of jars, and top with sterilized lids as above.
  5. Place in a hot water bath until sealed (about 5 minutes).

© 2009 Dolores Monet