Cranberry jam

by Kiran on December 2, 2011 · 51 comments

in Desserts, Sides

Happy TGIF!!!

A while back I begin a series where I taste-tested new ingredients that I have never tasted before.


For the very first time, I tasted balsamic vinegar, spinach pesto, sourdough, kale and quinoa, bread pudding and pumpkin, sampled in many ways.

Some may come as shock to you, but hey, give a Malaysian girl a break 😀

So now, I have some cranberries on the table. Begging for a recipe. I’ve never eaten or cooked with fresh cranberries before. I have a slew of recipes that incorporates cranberries, but I wanted to begin this whole taste-testing process with a simple recipe.

Cranberry jam/compote/sauce, whatever you want to call it. It’s simple and tasty 😀

Admittedly, I am late to the table with this recipe — cranberry sauce are famously served during Thanksgiving. What was I thinking, not serving this sooner?

Cranberries are normally considered too sharp to be eaten plain and raw, as they are not only sour but bitter as well.

Some fact’s about cranberries:

It is initially white, but turns a deep red when fully ripe. It is edible, with an acidic taste that can overwhelm its sweetness.

Cranberry sauce is regarded an indispensable part of traditional American and Canadian Thanksgiving menus and some European winter festivals.

Cranberries are harvested in the fall when the fruit takes on its distinctive deep red color. This is usually in September through the first part of November. To harvest cranberries, the beds are flooded with six to eight inches of water above the vines. A harvester is driven through the beds to remove the fruit from the vines — Source.

Jam’s are pretty darn easy and tastes super delicious, slathered on anything! I allowed it to sit longer than usual, and it thickens into a nice jar of jam. It’s as good as peanut butter fingers. Seriously good 😀

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe


  • One 12oz /340g bag of fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon bark or stick
  • 6 – 8 pieces of cloves
  • 1 tsp of fresh orange zest


  1. Add fresh cranberries, sugar and water in a saucepan. Heat it over medium.
  2. Stir often, allow cranberries to pop and thicken.
  3. Add cinnamon & cloves. Stir constantly.
  4. Allow to lightly bubble & thicken.
  5. Remove from heat, add orange zest, stir to combine.
  6. Completely cool cranberry jam before refrigeration.
  7. Serve it on toasts, oats, dessert toppings or even, cranberry jam fingers.

I love cranberries, slightly tart. If you like it a little more sweeter, add 1 cup of sugar instead of 3/4.

Who needs a spoon when it’s that tasty? 😉

Have you tasted fresh cranberries before? If yes, what is your favorite recipe?

I have my heart set to bake cranberry scones. We’ll just have to wait and see. Have a great weekend, friends 🙂

Enjoyed this recipe? Join others and get free email updates!

Comments on this entry are closed.

1 Kath December 2, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Beautiful photos!
Kath recently posted..Breakfast Off The List

2 Kiran December 7, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Aaahhhh!!! Thanks a lot for dropping by my blog, sweetie 🙂

3 balvinder December 2, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Kiran, Are you doing some giveaways/ I wish for cranberry jam. Looks good.
balvinder recently posted..Yam Chaat

4 Kiran December 7, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Thank you so much!! I would do a giveaway but I think jam’s would be messy to courier 🙂

5 Nami | Just One Cookbook December 3, 2011 at 5:14 AM

Oh yeah this looks delicious! I can also relate to your taste-tested series and they are all new food to me too, including this one. I never made it myself, although I’ve eating this every year at Thanksgiving for almost 15 years of my life in the US. I enjoyed your photos and recipe!
Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Shabu Shabu

6 Kiran December 7, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Thanks honey — it’s glad to know I am not the only one trying to familiarize myself with unknown ingredients 🙂

7 chinmayie @ love food eat December 3, 2011 at 5:36 AM

I haven’t really tasted some of the food on your taste-tested series as they are not local to me. I live in India so obviously I have never had cranberries before 🙂 But I can (almost) imagine what it will taste like. beautiful photos…
chinmayie @ love food eat recently posted..Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

8 Kiran December 7, 2011 at 11:46 AM

I concur with you — not all ingredients are readily available, everywhere. Take Alphonso mangoes for example. Not at all available over here 😀

9 Nash at Plateful December 3, 2011 at 11:01 AM

You know, I’ve tasted only dried cranberries and I love them. Fresh fruits are not easily available in the stores here in Doha. The jam must have tasted fabulous, it looks fab! Hey, your photos are gorgeous. Especially the second one 🙂
Nash at Plateful recently posted..Chocolate Caramel Slice — the perfect holiday treat

10 Kiran December 7, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Thanks a lot honey — I ditto about ingredients not readily available, everywhere. The jam is so delicious — wish I could ship it without the risk of breakage 😀

11 Asmita December 3, 2011 at 12:34 PM

The recipe looks great. I like the hint of orange and cinnamon in the jam! As usual the pictures are wonderful! Have a great weekend.

12 Kiran December 7, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Thanks honey 🙂

13 Richa@HobbyandMore December 3, 2011 at 9:53 PM

i hadnt tasted most of it before landing in seattle too.. cranberry jams and chutneys though are mouthwateringly good! gorgeous clicks! and whats on your next to taste list! 🙂
Richa@HobbyandMore recently posted..Cookie BlogHop: Pistachio Almond Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies. Vegan

14 Kiran December 7, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Thanks honey — I am not sure! What do you think should I taste-test? 😀

15 Kim Bee December 4, 2011 at 12:43 AM

This is fantastic and your pictures are outstanding.
Kim Bee recently posted..Bacon, Vegetable, and Ricotta Quiche: Guest Post by Katherine Martinelli

16 Kiran December 7, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Kim Bee,
Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for the lovely comment 🙂

17 Simply Life December 4, 2011 at 2:53 PM

good for you to try all these new things- I actually haven’t cooked with fresh cranberries before either! thanks for the inspiration!
Simply Life recently posted..Shabby Apple Vintage Dress GIVEAWAY!!

18 Kiran December 7, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Thank you — but are you kidding when you said you haven’t cooked with fresh cranberries before?!? 🙂

19 Melanie @ Melanie Cooks December 4, 2011 at 4:01 PM

The cranberry jam looks very tasty! I’ve made a cake before with fresh cranberries – it was really good!
Melanie @ Melanie Cooks recently posted..Easy Foolproof Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy Recipe

20 Nava Krishnan December 4, 2011 at 11:03 PM

This cranberry jam not only looks good but sure better than buying the off the shelf ones. A touch or drop on toasted bread will sure be heaven.
Nava Krishnan recently posted..America’s Most Shopaholic City????

21 Kiran December 8, 2011 at 12:53 PM

You are so right — I thought the texture would be off. But after cooling, it turned into a nice jar of jam. I’d say slather it on everything. Pure deliciousness 😀

22 Khushboo December 5, 2011 at 1:06 AM

You really took amazing photos, Kiran! Love the sound of this jam–> sounds very festive! I bet it would make for an excellent snack stirred into Greek yogurt!
Khushboo recently posted..December Do’s & Don’ts

23 Kiran December 8, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Thanks honey — I loved your snack idea 🙂

24 Ann December 5, 2011 at 1:31 AM

Wow! First off – congratulations for trying so many new things…that is wonderful!

The cranberry jam is stunning and your flavors are spot on! Your photos are beautiful as well! BRAVO!
Ann recently posted..Green Bean Casserole – Lightened Up!

25 Kiran December 8, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Thanks dear — its just an effort to blend in 😉

26 Hotly Spiced December 5, 2011 at 4:02 AM

I have never tried cranberry jam. I’ll have to make this. Your jam is a beautiful colour.
Hotly Spiced recently posted..Unclean Archie

27 Kiran December 8, 2011 at 4:12 PM

Do try and let me know how it tastes 🙂

28 Katherine Martinelli December 5, 2011 at 5:41 AM

Wow, I can’t believe all the things you had never before tried! It’s amazing that you are trying them all now. This cranberry jam looks amazing! I wish I could get my hand on cranberries right now.

29 Kiran December 8, 2011 at 4:19 PM

I am sure there are many more ingredients out there that needs familiarization. I am just doing my part to experiment. And it’s fun 🙂

30 Angie@Angiesrecipes December 5, 2011 at 7:05 AM

Mouthwatering clicks! Don’t finish them all by yourself. I go get some country bread and come over for the lunch with cranberry sauce!
Angie@Angiesrecipes recently posted..Crostini with Scrambled Eggs, Avocado and Smoked Salmon

31 Kiran December 8, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Thanks a lot dear — I wish I could say there’s more where this jam came from — gotta make more soon 🙂

32 Emily Malloy @Cleanliness December 5, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Absolutely scrumptious!
Emily Malloy @Cleanliness recently posted..OH GingerSNAP! Ice Cream

33 Kiran December 8, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Thanks sweetie 🙂

34 Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious December 5, 2011 at 9:06 PM

I may need to make this soon! I have 2 bags of organic cranberries!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂
Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious recently posted..Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

35 Kiran December 8, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Please make some soon and let me know how it tastes 🙂

36 Von December 6, 2011 at 5:46 AM

Of all the things you’ve tried for the first time, the only things I’ve had before are pumpkin and bread pudding (though I’m not sure if that counts since I’m pretty sure the version I had wasn’t the proper thing). I’ve never had cranberries before either! I’m sure I’d love them though, since I generally like berries (I think) and your cranberry jam looks very tasty!!
Von recently posted..Kitty Cat Sushi

37 Kiran December 8, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Thanks a lot dear — you should give this recipe a try. The texture of cranberries are incredible as jam.

38 Reem | Simply Reem December 6, 2011 at 11:15 AM

I can really eat this jam in endless way…
You know actually I have rather I do eat raw cranberries… LOL I know I can be weird some time hahahahah
Beautiful pictures sweet dear…

39 Kiran December 8, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Hahaha!! You truly made my day, dear 🙂 Such a brave soul, snacking away on raw cranberries 😀

40 Heavenly Housewife December 6, 2011 at 11:56 AM

I don’t eat cranberries because I don’t like the way they dry out my mouth, but your jam looks delicious. If you made it, I’d totally try it.
*kisses* HH
Heavenly Housewife recently posted..Heavenly Housewife and the Winter Blues

41 Kiran December 8, 2011 at 4:39 PM

I don’t think cranberries are best eaten raw. Try it as jam — its definitely tasty 😀

42 Lees December 6, 2011 at 8:23 PM

You can roll the raw cranberries is Karo syrup, then roll them in plain sugar. Then eat them. Spread them out to dry before putting them in a bowl, and don’t seal them up – just leave them out on the counter after. They are sour but sweet and delicious this way.

43 Kiran December 8, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for the suggestions. What an interesting way to enjoy cranberries 🙂

44 Harsha December 7, 2011 at 7:06 AM

I never tasted cranberries, but the jam looks good. Lovely pics. I liked the composition of them. 🙂
Harsha recently posted..Review: Rockstar

45 Kiran December 8, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Thanks a lot sweetie — there’s so much to taste here in USA. Cranberries are one of them 🙂

46 Sophie December 14, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Your cranberry jam is a realy good one!

I have made this tasty jam & loved it so much! I know classical flavours are in here but I love them so much! xxx
I also love the tart cranberries taste a lot! 😉
Sophie recently posted..Joy Bauer’s Food cures book review & 2 recipes from her new book!

47 Jen at The Three Little Piglets December 17, 2011 at 9:05 PM

I think we could all do with trying something new now and then! I don’t know anyone who doesn’t get in a rut from time to time and there are so many amazing foods on the planet. Looks like you found a winner with this one!
Jen at The Three Little Piglets recently posted..Cinnamon Hazelnut Shortbread from Baker Street

48 Kiran December 18, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for commenting! I am so glad to have tried so many new ingredients and quite frankly, love it all 🙂

49 Sam June 11, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Hi! I am obsessed with your blog! Such great recipe ideas and gorgeous photos! I had a question (might be silly). Do I need to crush the cinnamon and cloves before adding it in? Thanks!

50 Kiran June 11, 2013 at 11:11 PM

Sam — thank you so much for the compliments! You don’t need to crush the spices. It just has to infuse the jam while cooking. Fish it out once you are done! Let me know how it tastes! Good luck 🙂

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: