The end of summer may be prime canning season but there are plenty of things to be jamming and canning all year long. It’d been a while since I’d canned anything and I was starting to get the itch. Apples and cranberries are so plentiful right now and are so delicious paired together that I couldn’t help but can one more thing to give away during the holidays.
I debated adding some spices to give it a christmas-y feel but decided against it since I already have some Spiced Plum Jam tucked away in the cupboard. I’m so glad I did – it has such a nice bright, fresh flavour and will pair together with so many more things. It’s perfect spooned alongside roast turkey or chicken, as a condiment on a holiday sandwich, or simply on a piece of toast with breakfast. It’s more versatile than most jam recipes and has such a lovely colour that’s perfect for gifting during the holidays. Make a batch now to have on hand for last-minute hostess gifts, but don’t forget to keep a few jars for yourself!
- 8 cups peeled, cored, and diced apples (soft flesh apples are best)
- 4 cups fresh cranberries
- 6 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- zest and juice of 2 lemons
- Add apples, cranberries, sugar and water to a large pot. Bring to a boil and let cook until cranberries pop and apples have softened, skimming off any foam that forms on top. Stir in lemon juice and zest, lower heat to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick and passes the wrinkle test*. Once ready, you can pack it into jars or tupperware and freeze, or follow the process below for canning.
- To can: While jam is cooking, sterilize 8, ½ pint jars along with lids, as instructed in my *canning basics post. Fill the jars to within ¼ inch of the top with jam; wipe the rims, top with lids and tighten rings to fingertip tight. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (see: “things you need to know” in my *canning basics post for processing times above 1000 feet). Remove jars from water bath and set on a kitchen towel to cool for 24 hours. Check for seals before storing in a cool, dark place until ready to use.
- Place a small plate in the freezer while you make your jam. Once you think the jam is ready place a dollop on the frozen plate and return to the freezer for two minutes. Remove the plate from the freezer and push through the jam with your finger, there should be a slight film on top that wrinkles as you push. If it’s not ready yet, boil it for a few more minutes and repeat the test.
*New to canning? Freeze this recipe instead, or read up on the process in my canning basics post.
Adapted from Food in Jars.