Thanksgiving is over and I’m writing about cranberries. But with the gift giving season upon us, this cranberry orange jam serves as such a simple but sumptuous host/hostess gift or wonderful side dish for your holiday buffet, I thought it worthy of its own write-up and printable recipe format. You’ll also find it at the end of the cranberry orange rugelach post.
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. The jam is thickened with the natural pectin from a shredded apple, which is the most time-consuming aspect of this recipe. This comes together so easily.
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?
What’s your favorite food gift for this festive time of year?
- 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)
- 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. 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.
- Taste for sweetness and flavor at about 10 minutes, and if desired, add in the orange liqueur. Cook for another 5 minutes, take off heat and use a wooden spoon or potato masher to break up most of the chunks.
- Put in jars and refrigerate. Should last about 2 weeks or you can freeze some for later use.