Enjoy this easy homemade cranberry jam flavored with hints of orange and fresh ginger in either sweet or savory dishes. Tart, just sweet enough and incredibly vibrant in both taste and color!
Making my own jams is one of my favorite things to do. If you’ve never looked at the ingredient list or nutrition label on most store-bought products, it’s a sugar bomb at best and a chemical sh*tstorm at worst.
There’s really no reason to buy pre-made jam when you can take almost any fruit and make it yourself in literally 15-20 minutes.
Being able to control the ingredients and the sugar level (most are way too sweet for my palate) is incredibly empowering!
Since there’s always a bag of cranberries in my refrigerator or freezer this time of year, cranberry jam was a given sooner or later.
For this recipe, flavors of fresh orange and ginger are used to liven the jam up but not to the point of overpowering it.
If you love the sweet, tart nature of cranberries, that essence is still maintained in this delicious spread which you’ll no doubt find yourself wanting to use on everything from toast to topping chicken or fish.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE HOMEMADE CRANBERRY JAM
The four simple ingredients you’ll need to make this easy jam are:
- fresh or frozen cranberries
- half a navel orange
- fresh ginger
- coconut sugar
CAN I USE ANOTHER TYPE OF SUGAR?
Yes, brown sugar or granulated white sugar can be swapped out for the coconut sugar in this recipe. You can even use alternatives such as maple sugar if preferred.
While I typically like using maple syrup when making sauces like this Bourbon Cranberry Sauce, I prefer sugar for jam recipes.
HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY JAM
Making jam couldn’t be easier and this recipe is no exception! Combine the cranberries, fresh squeezed orange juice, grated ginger and sugar in a sauce pot.
Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to a low-simmer.
Cook for about 15 minutes stirring often with a spatula to break down the cranberries and prevent the jam from burning on the bottom of the pot.
Turn off the heat once the jam has thickened and the liquid is gone.
For a chunkier jam consistency simply let the jam cool then transfer it to glass jars for storage.
If you prefer a smoother jam, blend in a blender or using an immersion blender right in the sauce pot. You may want to add a tablespoon or two of water if blending to loosen the jam up a bit.
The cranberry jam can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
HOW TO USE CRANBERRY JAM
What I love most about this recipe is how versatile it is.
While you might typically only think to use jams in sweet applications like spread on toast, dolloped into oatmeal or swirled yogurt bowls, the tartness from the cranberries and subtle sweetness in this recipe makes it great for either sweet or savory uses.
I enjoy this jam just as much on top of broiled salmon as I do on some sourdough bread!
Cranberry sauces or jams are great for pairing with protein. Take a look at this pan seared duck breast recipe that’s served with a maple cranberry sauce and you’ll see why.
Here’s some other serving ideas for cranberry jam:
-In grilled cheese
-As a pancake topping
-Blended in a smoothie
-Baked into homemade cinnamon rolls
-As a filling for thumbprint cookies (here’s a recipe for vegan thumbprints or thumbprint cookies using leftover almond pulp)
-Serve on a charcuterie board with cheese, meats and crackers. Pickled cranberries are also great for this use.
IS CRANBERRY JAM THE SAME AS CRANBERRY SAUCE?
Essentially, yes, the two are basically synonymous.
However, as I mentioned earlier, when making cranberry sauce (like this 5-ingredient slow cooker cranberry sauce) I prefer to use liquid sweetener such as maple syrup instead of sugar.
Some jams require exogenous pectin to be used but since cranberries are naturally high in this ingredient, it’s unnecessary when making cranberry jam.
Another subtle difference between a sauce and jam is the sweetness level. Some prefer jams to be sweeter but since this recipe only uses 1/3 cup of coconut sugar, it’s not overly sweet.
When it comes down to it, this could just as easily be classified a sauce as a jam.
The jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks in a glass container that’s sealed well.
The recipe can also be doubled or tripled easily for a larger batch. As written, it’ll produce about a cup of jam.
If you have leftover fresh cranberries, they freeze exceptionally well and can be used as needed for a variety of recipes.
Some of my favorite seasonal cranberry recipes include this stuffed delicata squash where they bring a wonderful pop of tart brightness to savory filling and of course, this stunning cranberry curd tart which is the most impressive seasonal dessert you can dream up!
MORE JAMS AND SPREADS TO ENJOY:
Cranberry Ginger Jam
- 10 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
- juice of 1/2 a large navel orange
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- Combine all ingredients in a sauce pot and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce to a low-simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often to break down the cranberries and prevent the jam from burning on the bottom.
- Once thickened, either let cool before transferring to glass jars for a thicker, chunky jam or, blend until smooth with a blender or immersion blender. You may want to add a tablespoon or two of water if blending.
- Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.