Cranberry Orange Jam: A Simple Staple for the Holiday Season

This cranberry orange jam will become a Thanksgiving staple in your home. So easy to make but full of flavor – perfect to give as a hostess gift and for all those delicious sandwiches the next day!

Cranberry orange jam on wood background with red words and a spoon

Cranberry Orange Jam – The Perfect Holiday Gift

With the gift giving season upon us, this cranberry orange jam serves as a simple but sumptuous host/hostess gift or wonderful side dish for your holiday buffet.

When I first prepared this jam, I looked up several recipes and as usual, reduced the sugar a bit and added my “secret” Mexican orange liqueur called 43. Any orange liqueur will do or none at all is ok as well. You thicken the jam with the natural pectin from a shredded apple. Shredding that apple is the most time-consuming part of this refrigerator jam recipe – it’s so easy!

cranberry orange jam

Cranberry Jam with Orange is naturally thickened with the grated apple.

The jam is outstanding as a spread on a turkey sandwich, a tangy tart addition to a holiday brunch buffet, or a wonderful surprise bite inside a mini corn muffin. Use any cornbread recipe, fill each muffin tin halfway, add a dab of the jam and fill the rest of the way. Bake as usual. Doesn’t that sound yummy?

How to Make Cranberry Orange Jam

  1. Rinse off your cranberries and put them in your medium saucepan.
  2. Zest and juice the orange and add them to the cranberries in the pan.
  3. Add the sugar.
  4. Grate the apple and add it to the pot as well
  5. Give it all a mix and bring it to a boil on medium high. Once boiling, turn it down to medium or medium low. Keep it at a low boil and you’ll hear the cranberries start to pop.
  6. About 10 minutes in, add in your orange liqueur if using it. This is also a good time to take a masher and squish some of the berries further. I leave lots of texture but like to smooth it out a bit.
  7. At about 15 minutes in, I turn it off, let it cool for a bit, then put it in jars and refrigerate. Remember this is not a recipe for canning. Just refrigerate or even freeze the jam for later use.

Other Recipes that Pair Well with Cranberry Orange Jam

Cranberry Orange Rugelach 

cranberry orange rugelach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dry Brine Turkey

Whole Dry Brine Turkey Roasted on a white plate with fresh sage and oranges

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top your potato latkes with cranberry jam, instead of just apple sauce or sour cream. Really – it’s fantastic!

Potato Latkes with cranberry orange jam, apple sauce, sour cream, and dreidels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make Cranberry Crostini or serve the cranberry jam with goat cheese and crackers.

Prepare a cheese and charcuterie platter using cranberry jam as one of the spreads.

 

Cranberry Orange Jam jar with lid and spoon on wood background

This ruby red cranberry jam is a perfect hostess gift, sandwich spread and so much more!

 

cranberry orange jam
4.88 from 8 votes
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Cranberry Orange Jam Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 97 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup superfine sugar (regular would be fine too)
  • 16 ounces of fresh cranberries (if you have a package in the freezer – can use them straight out of the freezer – no problem)
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange (juice should be about ½ cup – add water or orange juice if necessary to bring up to a ½ cup)
  • 1 medium apple (peeled, cored, grated (any variety apple you have will do but tarter apples have more natural pectin which helps thicken the jam))
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur (optional)

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients, except liqueur, in a medium saucepan on medium heat – bring to a boil, then keep at a low boil for about 15 minutes.
  2. Intermittently, you’ll hear the cranberries popping. Mix often to check for thickening. If cranberries have not all popped and it’s getting too thick, add a bit more water or orange juice.
  3. Taste for sweetness and flavor at about 10 minutes, and if desired, add in the orange liqueur.
  4. Cook for another 5 minutes, take off heat and use a wooden spoon or potato masher to break up most of the chunks.
  5. Makes about 3.5 cups. Put in jars and refrigerate. Should last about 2 weeks or you can freeze some for later use. Tastes fantastic on turkey sandwiches.

 

Cranberry Orange Jam is the perfect buffet staple or hostess gift for the holiday season from Thanksgiving to Hanukkah to Christmas. It is perfect as a turkey side dish, to top your potato latkes, to spread on sandwiches or to give as an edible hostess gift. #Thanksgiving #Hanukkah #jam #Christmas #holidaygift #cranberries #cranberryjam

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41 Responses to Cranberry Orange Jam: A Simple Staple for the Holiday Season

  1. Lizthechef December 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    Great minds think alike – just posted my cranberry chutney this morning – LOL. Enjoy the season, Beth. X0 Liz ps Nice that you can freeze this – cranberries live in my freezer most of the year. Why not jam?

    • Beth Lee December 7, 2013 at 11:44 am #

      I hope you have a wonderful season as well – look forward to seeing what else you have in store for posts in December. Your chutneys are wonderful!

  2. Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) December 6, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    This looks great and I actually have ALL the ingredients for this! Printing out…

    • Beth Lee December 7, 2013 at 11:45 am #

      Let me know if you make it and how it comes out. We loved it – down to the last bite!

  3. sandy corman December 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    Had this jam at Thanksgiving and it was oo-la-la!! Oh if only I wasn’t too lazy to try all your great dishes.

    • Beth Lee December 7, 2013 at 11:46 am #

      I’ll give you a jar next time I make some…

  4. Carol Sacks December 6, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    Looks great, Beth. I love orange and cranberry together!

    • Beth Lee December 7, 2013 at 11:46 am #

      yes – a magical combination. Thx for stopping by!

  5. Deb December 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    It’s still cranberry season at my house too! As with most seasonal produce I hold on until it has vanished from the stores and markets. The festive red berry is a perfect companion for the Christmas holiday. And Cranberry Orange Jam sounds marvelous!

    • Beth Lee December 10, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

      As I’m sure you know, cranberries freeze so well. So stock up and you can indulge long after the season is over!

  6. Hannah December 9, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    Jam-filled cornbread muffins sound incredibly delicious, Beth, especially with your cranberry orange jam. My taste buds are tingling! I didn’t have nearly enough cranberry yumminess at Thanksgiving so I’ll be making some jam soon. Love the festive red color, too!

    • Beth Lee December 10, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

      I know right? The color really is lovely and another little tip – it is really good with soft cheeses on your appetizer tray. Yum!

  7. Annelies December 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    I’m a sucker for cranberries and get pretty excited when the season is upon us. This looks dynamite.

    • Beth Lee December 10, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

      As I was just telling Hannah – it’s wonderful on a cheese tray. I put out quince, citrus marmalade, and cranberry orange with some soft and hard cheeses and the cranberry went first.

      What are your favorite cranberry creations Annelies?

  8. rebecca December 11, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    this looks great and love the color

  9. Janell June 21, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    can this recipe be canned?

    • Beth Lee June 22, 2014 at 11:56 am #

      Great question Janell! I am writing to the expert – Cathy Barrow of Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen to ask. I suspect that you have to up the sugar to can it but I’ll find out!

    • Beth Lee June 23, 2014 at 6:27 am #

      Hi again Janell, I talked to Cathy Barrow – she said it is both method and ingredients so it is not as simple as just upping the sugar. She macerates her fruit overnight as well. If you want to preserve, start with a recipe that is made for that – here is one option though a little different you could modify it to be cranberry orange: http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/1014422/cranberry-raspberry-pecan-conserve.html

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  10. Jhangus November 24, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    I have used this recipe for 3 holidays now….it has become a family & friend favorite.

    • Beth Lee December 1, 2015 at 10:44 am #

      Yah! That makes me so happy! Thanks for sharing and I hope you had a delicious Thanksgiving. I will be making Cranberry Orange Rugelach using the jam this week.

  11. Jhangus November 24, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    I have used this recipe for 3 holidays now….it has become a family & friend favorite.

  12. Gayla Harken September 18, 2016 at 6:16 pm #

    Do you think this could be preserved using a hot water bath like you would do for jams or jellies?

    • Brenda Henne September 28, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

      I would like to know if this recipe has been used to can in waster bath also!

      • Beth Lee October 18, 2016 at 4:30 pm #

        I don’t know if you saw this response Brenda so I am posting it again: Wow – Brenda – sorry for the delay in responding – for some reason I didn’t get the notice that I had a new comment on this post. So sorry! I am not an expert in preservation unfortunately. I would start with a recipe that is meant to be preserved from someone like Cathy Barrow (Mrs. WheelBarrow’s Kitchen), Marisa McClellan (Food in Jars), or Emily Paster (West of the Loop).

    • Beth Lee October 18, 2016 at 9:20 am #

      Wow – Brenda – sorry for the delay in responding – for some reason I didn’t get the notice that I had a new comment on this post. So sorry! I am not an expert in preservation unfortunately. I would start with a recipe that is meant to be preserved from someone like Cathy Barrow (Mrs. WheelBarrow’s Kitchen), Marisa McClellan (Food in Jars), or Emily Paster (West of the Loop).

    • Beth Lee October 18, 2016 at 9:21 am #

      Sorry for the delay in responding Gayla! – for some reason I didn’t get the notice that I had a new comment on this post. So sorry! I am not an expert in preservation unfortunately. I would start with a recipe that is meant to be preserved from someone like Cathy Barrow (Mrs. WheelBarrow’s Kitchen), Marisa McClellan (Food in Jars), or Emily Paster (West of the Loop). I know amount of sugar and temp of boiling is really important if you plan to preserve.

  13. Michelle November 1, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

    I can think of a ton of ways to use this! Looking forward to trying it over the holidays!

    • Beth Lee November 1, 2016 at 10:12 pm #

      Yup – I make a cranberry orange rugelach with it but oh so many more ways to use it! Thx for stopping by.

  14. Heather November 29, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

    Hello, I was just wondering how many jars this would make? Im using 250ml jars

  15. Gretchen December 16, 2017 at 10:55 am #

    Just made a batch of this – amazed at how easy it was to put together and how lovely and festive it looks in the jars. What a lovely “hostess gift” to take along to holiday gatherings. Thanks for this lovely recipe!

    • Beth Lee December 16, 2017 at 11:06 am #

      I’m so glad – I make it every year and am always glad I did! Makes me so happy – thx for sharing!

  16. Kali Stanland December 16, 2017 at 11:53 am #

    Hi. Maybe I missed it, but how much does this actually make?

    • Beth Lee December 16, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

      Hi – good question! Looks like I left that off! It makes about 3.5 cups. And remember these instructions are for refrigerator jam, not shelf stable canning. Have fun!

  17. Britni October 8, 2018 at 7:40 am #

    I love learning new recipes for jams. Thank you for this creative recipe.

    • Beth Lee October 8, 2018 at 8:04 am #

      Isn’t it the best when it’s easy but just a little bit different? So many people from young adults to grandmas tell me they make this every year.

  18. Jennifer Farley October 8, 2018 at 7:47 am #

    How perfect is this? I love adding orange juice and zest to cranberries. It does so much to enhance the flavors!

    • Beth Lee October 8, 2018 at 8:06 am #

      Such a natural combination – I can never really get enough of oranges and cranberries together this time of year.

  19. Sara October 8, 2018 at 9:17 am #

    Love the touch of orange through orange liqueur in addition to the orange zest! Really pairs well with the cranberries!

    • Beth Lee October 8, 2018 at 11:11 am #

      Oh that orange liqueur gives it a little bit of unexpected depth – you don’t really know what it is – just pops a bit more in your mouth!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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