Last year in early November, with the very last remnants of my spoils from apple season, I made this fantastic jam for Thanksgiving. I gave jars of it to Hannah’s teachers at school the day before Thanksgiving break last year (but not this year, she was out sick with an ear infection the whole week). We served it at the table for the big feast. We served the last jar of it last week for Thanksgiving, and I still forgot to take photos of the jarred goodness instead of the giant pot of hot goop.
It’s not too sweet or too tart, and squishing the cranberries until they pop is unspeakably satisfying as the stressful holiday season kicks into gear. You can add spices, but I’ve left it plain as per the original recipe (Food in Jars, btw, is an amazing resource for canners).
I’ve saved this recipe until this year’s festive season rolled around. If you get your hands on some fresh cranberries this is the thing to do with them.
Apple Cranberry Jam (from Food in Jars)
Yield: 4 1/2 – 5 pints.
8 cups of peeled and diced apple (approximately 5-6 large apples, 1/2 inch dice. Use a softer apple like a Golden Delicious. Firm apples won’t cook down as well.)
4 cups of whole cranberries
6 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 lemons, zested and juiced
Combine the apples, cranberries, sugar and water in a large pot over high heat.
Bring to a boil, skimming off the foam that develops on the top of the fruit.
Add the lemon zest and juice and simmer until the liquid in the pot begins to thicken (because both apples and cranberries are naturally high in pectin, you won’t need any additional pectin to help this jam set, as long as you cook it until thick and syrup-y).
Ladle into prepared jars, wipe rims, apply lids and process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Label nicely and distribute to those you love.