Cranberry Apple Jam Recipe For Canning

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Cranberry apple jam is very easy to make and is delicious. It can be a great addition to the holiday table, a great ingredient to have on hand for fall baking, and it can even be a substitute for the traditional cranberry sauce.


I love jams that are sweet and tart at the same time. This cranberry apple jam fits that bill perfectly.

During the summer, I like making plum and apple jam, but once the plum season is over, there is a little gap in the tart fruit classification until the glorious fresh cranberries show up on the shelves in the fall.

Then, I make all the cranberry apple jam that I possibly can because this jam is delicious any time of the year, not only around the holidays!

Cranberry Apple Jam…

Cranberry apple jam is a sweet yet tart jam. It's a delicious fall jam and can be a fun addition to the holiday table or even a replacement for the traditional cranberry sauce.
#cranberryapplejam #cranberryrecipes

However, I do have to admit that it’s a tiny bit extra special in the fall and around the holidays.

One reason is that it goes very well with mashed potatoes and the traditional holiday turkey. It adds sweetness to those dishes and can easily replace cranberry sauce.

All right, let me show you how to make cranberry apple jam and can it!

Ingredients for Cranberry and Apple Jam…

Fresh cranberries.

To make this jam, we only use four ingredients: fresh cranberries, apples, water (or apple juice), and sugar.

Fresh cranberries – I use bags of OceanSpray fresh cranberries, each bag has 12 oz of fresh cranberries.

Apples – because I like to keep as much of the tartness as possible, I chose to use Granny Smith apples which are more tart than sweet. You can use any kind of apple that you’d like.

Feel free to use sweeter and softer apples (the kinds that we use when making applesauce like Golden Delicious, for example), or sweet red apples… You can even use crabapples if you like.

Water – both cranberries and apples don’t release too much juice when we cook them so to make sure they cook and soften but not burn we have to add some liquid. I add water but another option is to add apple juice.

Sugar – as always, I don’t make my jams with the traditional 1:1 fruit to sugar ratio. I cut the sugar in half and everyone is much happier.

I got 14 half-pint jars of jam from this recipe (using 4 bags of cranberries, 4 apples, 2 lb sugar, and 6 cups of water). If you want to make less or more jam, adjust according to these instructions: for each 1 bag (12 oz) of fresh cranberries, use 1 large apple, 1/2 lb sugar, and 1.5 cups of water or apple juice.

Tools for Making Cranberry and Apple Jam…

Food processor – to process the cranberries and apples before cooking them.

Apple peeler and corer – you don’t have to have this kitchen tool but if you use many apples (like to make an apple cake or if you can apples and so on), this little tool will really change your life!

Pot and a spatula or wooden spoon for stirring- I like to use a shallow pot to cook jams but you can use any pot you’d like. Make sure that it has a lid and a heavy bottom.

Canning equipment – if you are going to can your jam make sure that you have all the canning equipment that you’ll need. I like using half-pint jars for jams. You’ll need new lids but you can reuse the bands.

You’ll need a paper towel to clean the rim of the jar before closing it, all of the canning utensils, and a water bath canner to process the jars in.

How to Make Cranberry Apple jam…

Fresh cranberries in the food processor.

First thing to do is to process the fruit in the food processor. Add the cranberries to the food processor one bag at a time and process them for a couple of minutes.

Cranberries processed in the food processor.

Once the cranberries are processed, add them to the pot and continue to process the next bag until all of the processed cranberries are in the pot.

Apple in the apple peeler tool.

If you don’t have an apple peeler just peel your apples using a vegetable peeler and then remove the core and dice your apples.

Apple after it was processed in the apple peeler.

This little tool makes the job super easy. After it peels and cores the apples I dice them before adding them to the food processor (don’t forget that you can use the cores and apple peels to make apple scrap vinegar).

Apple processed in the food processor.

Process the apples for a couple of minutes and then add them to the pot with the cranberries.

Adding cranberries, apples, and sugar to a shallow pot.

Lastly, add the sugar and water (or juice) before turning the heat to medium-high.

Bringing the jam mixture to a boil.

Bring the mixture to a boil and hold it at a gentle, rolling boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Then lower the heat to medium.

Cooking with the pot half covered.

Now, you just have to cook the jam until the fruit is soft and until the jam reaches your desired consistency. Apples are rich in natural pectin and will help the jam thicken, but in order for the fruit to soften we want to cook this jam low and slow for a couple of hours.

Make sure to partially cover the pot so hot jam doesn’t bubble and shoot out of it. It will also help the jam cook slower and the fruit will have plenty of time to soften. Don’t forget to stir the jam every 10 – 15 minutes.

Cranberry apple jam is ready for canning.

It took my jam about two hours to reach the thickness and consistency that I like. It might take you a little less time or a little longer.

To check if your jam is ready, scoop a little bit in a spoon, place the spoon on a plate and let it cool for five minutes on the counter or you can also put it in the fridge (I usually just leave it on the counter).

Then add the jam from the spoon back to the pot. As it leaves the spoon you’ll be able to see how thick it is (because jam keep thickening as it cools).

Seasoning this Cranberry Apple Jam…

I like to keep things simple so I can really taste the fruit but you can definitely season this jam if you like.

A great addition would be a teaspoon of ground ginger or maybe ground cinnamon or vanilla extract. Some people add cardamom to their jam or you can try some nutmeg and another option is to add some lemon or orange zest.

You can play with it and decide what you like or you can leave the seasonings out. If you add seasonings, add them in the last ten minutes of cooking.

Canning Cranberry Apple jam…

Fill the jar with cranberry apple jam.

This cranberry apple jam will last a few weeks in the fridge but if you’d like to save some room in the fridge, if you like to preserve it for months, or if you like to be able to gift it for the holidays you can easily can it.

Fill your water bath canner with enough water to cover the jars by an inch. Place the canner on the stovetop, cover the pot, and bring the water to a boil.

You don’t really have to sanitize your jars, lids, and bands, it’s enough if you wash them in warm water with some dish soap but I usually place them in the water bath canner after I fill it and leave them in the boiling water for a few minutes before canning.

Fill the clean and warm jars with the cranberry apple jam, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace…

Cleaning the rim of the jar.

Clean the rim with a damp paper towel…

Removing air bubbles from the jar.

Use the bubble remover to remove air bubbles…

Covering the jar with the lid.

Center the lid…

Closing the jar with the band.

And close the jar with the band.

Processing cranberry apple jam in the water bath canner.

As you prepare the jars, place them on the elevated rack of the water bath canner. Once all of the jars are ready, lower the rack into the boiling water and cover the pot.

Process the cranberry apple jam for 15 minutes (half-pints and pints) or according to the table below if you live above 1000 feet in elevation.

Once processing time is up, turn the heat off and uncover the canner. Let the jars rest in the hot water for a few more minutes before using the jar lifter to remove them and place them on a kitchen towel on the kitchen counter.

How to Store Cranberry Apple Jam…

Cranberry Apple jam is ready for storing.

Let your jars cool completely before storing them (I usually leave them on the counter overnight). Once they are cool, check to make sure that they sealed by pressing the center of the lid. If there is no movement there it means that the jar is properly sealed and ready for storage.

I store my jars without the band (so it’s easier for me to see what’s going on inside the jar and because the band rust sometimes). I remove the band and wipe the jar and then place it in the pantry for up to 18 months (however, I try to use it within a year).

If you have a jar that didn’t seal you can store it in the fridge and use it first or you can try to process it again.

How to Serve Cranberry Apple Jam…

Cranberry apple jam is delicious on a toast with or without cream cheese. I usually serve it as breakfast or a snack. My kids love both the cool color and the delicious taste.

As I mentioned before, this cranberry apple jam can be a delicious addition to the holiday table (another great addition is this persimmon jam). It goes great with mashed potatoes and turkey meat.

It’s also a thick kind of jam and can be used in baking. It can be a great filling for thumbprint cookies or to use in cakes or other baked goods.


I hope that you’ll give this simple recipe a try! If you like tart jams you are going to love this one!

And if you liked this post, make sure to check these other recipes as well…

Apple Butter Recipe for Canning

Low Sugar Strawberry Jam

Low Sugar Fig Jam

Peach Jam Recipe

Orange Jam Recipe

Cranberry Apple Jam

Cranberry Apple Jam

Yield: 14 half pint jars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Processing Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes

Sweet and tart cranberry apple jam recipe and canning instructions. If you want to make more or less jam, check the notes for how to adjust the ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 4 bags (12 oz each) of fresh cranberries
  • 4 large apples (I used Granny Smith but any variety will work) peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2 lb sugar
  • 6 cups of water or apple juice

Instructions

  1. Add cranberries to the food processor one bag at a time. Process for a couple of minutes and add to the pot.
  2. Add apples to the food processor and process for a couple of minutes. Add to the pot with the cranberries.
  3. To the fruit, add the sugar and water or juice.
  4. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a gentle, rolling boil. Boil for five minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Lower the heat to medium-low and partially cover the pot. Cook for a couple of hours or until the jam reaches your desired thickness and consistency. Don't forget to stir frequently.
  6. To can this jam: fill your water bath canner with enough water to cover the jars by about an inch. Place the canner on the stovetop, cover the pot, and bring the water to a boil.
  7. Wash the canning jars, lids, and bands well with hot water and dish soap.
  8. Ladle your jam into the clean jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  9. Use the bubble remover to remove air bubbles from the jar. Use a damp paper towel to clean the rim of the jar before centering the lid and closing the jar with the band.
  10. Place the filled jars on the rack of the canner, lower the rack into the boiling water, and process both pint and half-pint jars for 15 minutes (or according to the table in the notes if you live above 1000 feet in elevation).
  11. Once processing time is up, turn the heat off and uncover the canner. Let the jars rest in the hot water for 5 minutes before removing them from the canner. Place jars on a towel on the counter and let cool completely overnight before storing in the pantry for up to 18 months.

Notes

If you want to make less or more jam, adjust according to these instructions: for each 1 bag (12 oz) of fresh cranberries, use 1 large apple, 1/2 lb sugar, and 1.5 cups of water or apple juice. 

Adjust processing times according to the table below:

To check if your jam is ready, scoop a little bit in a spoon, place the spoon on a plate and let it cool for five minutes on the counter or you can also put it in the fridge (I usually just leave it on the counter). 

Then add the jam from the spoon back to the pot. As it leaves the spoon you'll be able to see how thick it is (because jam keep thickening as it cools). 

Optional seasonings: a great addition will be a teaspoon of ground ginger or maybe ground cinnamon or vanilla extract. Some people add cardamom to their jam or you can try some nutmeg and another option is to add some lemon or orange zest. 

You can play with it and decide what you like or you can leave the seasonings out. If you add seasonings, add them in the last ten minutes of cooking.  

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 224 Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 19Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 0g

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