Spiced Cranberry Jam

I had the hardest time finding a recipe for cranberry jam. What else could I use the extra frozen cranberries and a bag of liquid pectin for? So I made my own. And it’s wonderful!

Spiced Cranberry Jam
4 cups whole cranberries
6 cups sugar
2 cups cranberry juice
1 pouch liquid pectin
1 teaspoon apple or pumpkin pie spice (optional)

1 12-pack 4 ounce glass jars with new lids and rings
canning funnel
canning tongs
wooden spoon

Wash all the lids and jars and rings in soapy water. Rinse off. Put jars and rings in a 12-quart pot half full of water (the pot, not the jars). Wash your canning funnel and put in water with the jars. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. The jars are ready to use now. The lids should go in a small pan with boiling water and set aside until you need the lids.

Pulse cranberries in the food processor or chop by hand until they are in large chunks. In a large pot stir together cranberries, juice, sugar and spice if you want it in there. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 full minute stirring constantly. Add pectin and bring back to a boil for another full minute stirring constantly. Turn off heat and using a canning funnel ladle into hot, boiled jars being careful not to fill to more than 1/4 inch of the top. Use a damp paper towel to wipe the rims of the jars before putting on lids and rings. Finger tighten rings on and using canning tongs lower sealed jars into boiling water in the canning pot and let boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and use canning tongs to remove jars to a wooden cutting board to cool. Once all the lids seal (to test: once jam is cool press on the center of each lid, if it is down or goes down without popping back up they are sealed. Any that don’t seal can be put in the fridge and used right away) label the jars and store in a dark place. Refrigerate after opening.

Cherry Butter

HERE is the original post. I did it a little differently though and made freezer jam.

Cherry Butter

6 cups pitted cherries
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4-6 cups sugar

I started by putting the cherries and spices into the crock pot on high. I let it sit for about 6 hours stirring every hour or so. Then I took my stick blender and pureed it all until there were no lumps. (But just to make sure there were no pits or lumps I poured it though the pasta strainer into a bowl and poured the bowl back into the crock pot.) Then I added 4 cups of the sugar, stirring it in throughly, and I left it on high for another 6 hours with the lid cracked, I used a wooden spoon to keep the lid partly open. By that time it was 9pm and it still wasn’t reduced as much as I liked so I left it on the keep warm setting on my crock pot overnight with the spoon still keeping the lid partly open. In the morning it was pretty much as thick as I wanted it so I tasted it and decided it needed more sugar. 1 1/2 cups of sugar later it was perfect. Once it cooled most of the way I put it in 8oz plastic freezer containers, labeled them, and popped them in the freezer.

It’s very good, tart and sweet and very cherry. I’ll keep this recipe around for a long time. And the cherry butter in the freezer should last at least a year if not longer.