I went shopping today, and what did I see- Eggnog. Yes eggnog! the world has officially gone crazy. If it hadn’t already. I know other shops have decor and gift ideas but even the grocer has fallen victim to the extra early Christmas bug- Blame the pandemic – the need to make up lost revenue. With the retail in agreement – now is the time to prepare for Christmas – 63 days and counting.
Normally, I do shop in advance of the holiday. I like to be done before December. I am not one to stress out and run crazy on Black Friday sales or Boxing Day. Nope not for me.
Which makes now the prefect time to snap up those last summer berries (or dig them out of your freezer) and snap up holiday cranberries on sale. Why you ask? Christmas Jam. Cool outdoor days, crisp leaves, warm sweaters, cranberries simmering on stove. Everything about it is just inviting. Plus the jars make the prefect host gift with big loaf of French bread or spread between cookies, or cheese tray topper on cream cheese for a potluck.
This Christmas jam is the prefect sweet tart combo for fresh bread or even in crepes on Christmas Day. It also doesn’t contain 5 lbs of sugar. – no joke a lot of Christmas jams recipes use 5 lbs of sugar that is 11.5 cups. That is just scary. We have whittled it down to just 3.5.
If you really want to go sugar free -it is possible – first way is to cook longer – until it gels to set properly. You will also need to stir often to prevent scorching. Second option – try Pomona universal pectin – a pectin activated by calcium solution (included in the box) instead of sugar. Look for it at your health shop or on amazon.
- 12 Oz Cranberries (fresh or frozen, thaw first if frozen)
- 1 Orange, peeled and sectioned
- 2 t Orange Zest, from the peel
- 16 Oz Fresh or FrozenStrawberries (thaw if you use frozen)
- 1/4 t Ground Cloves
- 1/4 t Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 t Allspice
- 3.5 C Sugar, pure cane is best
- 1 Package Powder Fruit Pectin
- 1/2 C Water
- Wash jars, lids, and rings and sterilize jars while you make the jam.
- Place lids in a small saucepan covered with water. Boil over medium-high heat while you make the jam. Set rings to the side, they don’t need sterilized.
- Place cranberries and sectioned orange into a blender. You just want them coarsely chopped.
- Add in the strawberries, orange zest and spices. Stir a bit in the blender to make sure they get mixed a little. Blend until everything is chopped fine. You don’t want it pureed.
- Stir fruit mixture and water together in a 5 qt stock pot.
- Stir in fruit pectin
- Bring the mixture to a rolling boil over high heat, stir constantly.
- Add sugar to the mixture. Return to full rolling boil. Boil exactly 1 minute.
- Remove from heat. Using a metal spoon, skim off any foam.
- Immediately ladle hot jam into prepared jars. Leaving 1/4″ headspace.
- Wipe rims and threads. Center lid. Place ring on just finger tight. Place jars back in canner.
- When all the jars are filled, fill canner with water until jars are covered with 2″.
- Cover canner. Bring to a boil. Process for 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat. Uncover canner. Allow jars to sit for 5 minutes.
- Remove jars to a towel-lined counter and leave undisturbed for 24 hours before checking seal.
- Check for proper seal. If any didn’t seal, place in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks.