Strawberry Cranberry Holiday Jam is made with two of my favorite berries that are available fresh at this time of year. This jam is delightfully simple to make, and it’s also one of the best of its kind that I’ve tasted! You might also like to know that there is no need to add packaged pectin powder here! I prefer to preserve fruit in its natural form when possible! Both of these berries happen to be very rich in natural pectin, which thickens as it cooks and creates this beautiful and tasty spread. Previously I have posted two other jam recipes that you could make at this time of year, Moraba ye Seeb (apple preserves) & Moraba ye Beh (quince preserves), and no pectin has been used in those jams either.
I’m so excited to share this no-fuss strawberry cranberry holiday jam recipe with you! It’s a breeze to make, it is delicious with whole pieces of fruit, and it has a gorgeous red color that is a perfect addition to any holiday breakfast or brunch. If you agree that homemade gifts make the most thoughtful presents, make a list of people who would love to receive this all-natural, fresh fruit jam at the upcoming holiday gift exchange. You will need only a few minutes to make this and it will be a special treat that you can make ahead and save some time later!
If you like sweet tart flavors, you’re going to love this jam. It is not excessively sweet, so it tastes fantastic as a spread on your morning toast as well as a mouthwatering topping for your ice cream! It is possible to use frozen fruits in this recipe, but we all know fresh is always better! Since it is fairly easy to find the fruits for this jam right now, I can not pass up on this fresh seasonal treat. Most supermarkets carry fresh strawberries all year round in the States; however, fresh cranberries are only available October through November and December. Cranberries freeze very well without sticking together. Every year around the holidays I freeze couple of large gallon-size bags and use them all year round in sweet and savory dishes such as Cranberry Upside Down Cake, Cranberry Chocolate Bars, and Turkey with Cranberry Polo , but I make a point of making at least several jars of my favorite jam with fresh fruit every year!
The summer strawberries might be sweeter but if you’re able to find beautiful red ones this time of year, they are still very fragrant. The strawberries add a lot of flavor and color to this jam and they complement the seasonally fresh cranberries very nicely.
Mix in 4 cups of sugar with the strawberries and toss for a few minutes until the natural juices of the strawberries color the sugar. Add the cranberries to the pot, squeeze the juice of half a lemon (about 1-2 tsp) in the pot. Smash and mix the fruits and sugar with two forks or a potato masher until a thick, sugary syrup builds in the pot. Heat over medium or medium low heat. I usually use a heat diffuser and use medium heat to bring the syrup to an active boil. The heat diffuser prevents the bottom of the fruit from sticking and burning. If you’r not using one, bring it to boil over medium low.
Once the jam comes to a boil and a thick foam collects on top, continue cooking for another 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally and keep an eye on the jam to prevent sticking. The jam is ready when the fruit is very tender and cooked through and the syrup is thickened and clear.
Allow the Strawberry Cranberry jam to cool 5-10 minutes in the pot, then spoon it into clean and dry jars with tight lids. I personally prefer the small 8-ounce size jars, but you could use larger jars if you wish. Allow the jam to cool completely over the counter without the lids. You may drape a thin kitchen towel loosely over the jars during this cooling period.
As you can see in this pictures, when the jam cools it thickens enough that it will not spill out of the jar when you tilt it slightly. Keep in mind that no packaged pectin has been used in this fantastic jam; it’s all natural and you will see and taste the difference. Cover the jars with tight lids and store in the refrigerator for the next few months.
This sweet and tart, No-pectin jam spreads smoothly on Barbari, toast, and English muffin. Enjoy it with unsalted butter or cream cheese on your choice of bread, or use it as a refreshing topping over yogurt or ice cream! Strawberry Cranberry jam is going to become your favorite holiday treat for your own home, or as a thoughtful gift for friends and family. I would love to hear from you if you give this recipe a try. Enjoy it in good health and make a few extra jars to keep the magic of holiday going for a few more months longer!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Active cooking time: About 25 minutes
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries
- 2 pounds fresh cranberries
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Pick over the cranberries and discard the soft ones. Rinse under cold water and drain in a colander.
- Rinse the strawberries under cold water. Remove the leaves and cut the berries lengthwise into 4-8 pieces, depending on the size of the fruit.
- Add the strawberries to a heavy bottomed stainless-steel pot (4-5 Qt size)
- Add all of the sugar to the pot and stir for a few minutes until the natural juices from the strawberries start mixing with the sugar.
- Add the cranberries and fresh lemon juice to the pot and gently mash the berries with a potato masher, or couple of forks, just until you notice the sugary syrup form in the pot.The idea is to work the sugar into the berries to bring out their juice, without chopping them to small pieces.
- Place the pot over a heat diffuser and keep stirring over medium or medium low heat. The heat diffuser prevents sticking and burning to some degree, so if you’re not using it, heat on medium low to prevent sticking.
- Stir and continue heating until the syrup comes to a full boil and a thick pink foam collects on top.
- Allow the jam to keep cooking on a consistent low boil for 20-25 minutes. Check and stir frequently to prevent sticking.
- The jam is ready when the syrup is thickened, and the berries are tender and cooked through. Both strawberries and cranberries have a lot of natural pectin, so you will not need to add any packaged pectin to make this jam, and it thickens further as it cools.
- Remove the pot from heat and allow the jam to cool 5-10 minutes, before spooning it into clean and dry jars with tight lids. I’ve used small 8-ounce jars, but you could use larger jars if you wish. Allow the jam to cool completely in the jars over the counter before closing the lids and refrigerating them.
- Serve this holiday jam over Barbari, toasted baguette or your favorite bread. The sweet tart flavor of this jam also makes it a perfect topping for ice cream!