Even though fall has finally arrived, I am still playing with jams. Kristi od Designedly Kristi recently mentioned on Facebook about a new tea she had just tried that contained dried cranberries and warm flavors. And that was just enough for me to start thinking of flavors for a cranberry jam. I just happened to have one bag of cranberries in the freezer. I am patiently waiting for cranberries to reappear in the produce aisle now. But I did make a batch of jam from that one bag of cranberries.
Please make a not that I am not known for exact measurements. But enjoy! And let me know if you try it. I am planning on making a double batch once I get cranberries. This stuff is rather addictive!
Inspired by a friend’s mention of the flavors in a herbal tea blend she just tried. She said it was full of warm flavors. So I went from there.
And please note, I like to layer and build my layers of flavor in as I cook. From reading cookbooks, living in Europe and taking the occasional class in classical European cooking, I have learned to appreciate a dish that really has depth and leaves you satisfied with a small bite or two.
I use Pomona’s Natural pectin for most jams. And this jam is no exception. If you have never used Pomona’s I would suggest trying it at least once or twice. I prefer it since it allows me to use honey or sugar in my jams.
The breakdown of calcium water and pectin in this recipe is 1/2 teaspoon of calcium water and 3/4 of a teaspoon of pectin powder per cup of berry mixture This number is based on information given to me by Pomona’s Jam Line. (For those who chose to use the Ball brand Flex Batch Pectin, I would still use 3/4 of a teaspoon per cup of cranberries. You may have to adjust it slightly if it does not thicken up enough for you.)
This stuff is really addictive and I am planning on make it again. It you are using Pomona’s, it is very easy to double this recipe. Or even triple it.
1 12-ounce bag of fresh or frozen cranberries (I used frozen) a 12 ounce bag is about 3 cups.
1-1/2 cups of water
chopped zest from 1 orange (I used a naval orange)
chopped zest from 1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
1 little bit of fresh grated nutmeg (if you only have powdered do not add it now)
1 to 2 coins of fresh ginger
(I used very tender fresh young ginger and julienned mine since it was just picked but unless you have just picked tender young ginger leave as coins)
Combine these ingredients in a Dutch oven and simmer over medium low hear just until the cranberries start to pop.
Juice your orange and lemon into a measuring cup. Add enough bottled lemon juice to get 1/3 of a cup. Set aside.
I heard the cranberries starting to pop so I used the back of the spatula to pop more. I am wanting my jam to be a bit on the chunky side. I did measure my berry mixture at this point and I had just slightly under 3 cups.
1-1/2 teaspoons calcium water (ignore this if you are using Ball’s Flex Batch)
1/2 cup local honey
Add the calcium water and reserved lemon/orange juice mixture to your berries. Bring to a simmer. Adjust your seasonings at this point. I used about 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of cloves, nutmeg, and a pinch of ground cardamom. Well about that much since I tend to eyeball the spices but I am normally dead on accurate with this stuff. I also added about 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste at this point. The vanilla will blend and bring out the flavors of everything else.
In a small bowl, blend well –
1 tablespoon sugar (you will need to check the sweetness of the mixture after the honey has cooked in. If you prefer it sweeter, use up to 1 cup)
2-1/4 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder
Add to the berry mixture once you have brought it to a simmer. Bring back to a low boil. I added about 1/4 cup of crystalized ginger to mine at this point.
Ladle into clean sterilized canning jars leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Wipte the rims of the jars clean and put your lids on. In other words follow basic safe rules for canning. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes and allow to cool before checking the seals. For information on safe canning practices go here.
Please note that Pomona’s does not set up until it is cool.
I ended up with 4 8-ounce jars and 1 little 4- ounce jar. I left about 3/4 of an inch of headroom since I was putting into the jars after it had set up a bit. I wanted to make sure it would set up this first time.
Edited to fix typos and provide a link to safe canning practices!