Homemade jam evokes whispers of grandmothers in beautiful country houses, wearing ruffled aprons and humming while the sticky sweetness simmers away on the stove. It makes people think of fluffy biscuits and crisp slices of toast. Spreadable, delectable jam smacks of family and friends gathered together for a Sunday breakfast or afternoon snack with tea.
With all the wonderful properties of jam, you would think more people would make it! I’ve never met anyone in person who makes their own jam, except one or two gray-haired ladies with a special talent for culinary adventures. Jam has a reputation for being hard to make, which is undeserved. This recipe takes less than 20 minutes and only requires a few ingredients. If you’ve never made jam, you have to try it!
Why is the jam all by itself on a plate, you ask? Because I realized after making it that there was no bread or biscuit of any kind in my house. Not even a forgotten tube of saltines or a loaf of freezer-burned Ezekiel Bread. Not even the end piece of last week’s loaf. But not to worry, this jam is delicious all by itself. I
may have definitely ate quite a lot straight from the spoon while it was still warm. This week I’m planning to make biscuits so that this jam can find a proper home. Stay tuned for that recipe!
This recipe is the perfect way to use up cranberries leftover from Thanksgiving without making another cranberry sauce. The fresh, tart berries are usually cheaper this time of year, making this jam easy and inexpensive!
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 3/4 cup pomegranate juice
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3/4-1 cup sugar
- Add cranberries and pomegranate juice to a medium saucepan with lid and bring to a boil. You will begin to hear popping sounds, but don't worry! This is the skin coming apart on the cranberries!
- Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir the berries and mash them slightly with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Stir in lemon juice and sugar to taste. I personally like a sweeter jam, so I used the full cup, but if you like a more tart jam try it with just 3/4 cup of sugar. (A liquid sweetener might also work here, but I haven't experimented yet. Feel free to play around!)
- Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes.
- Blend until smooth with an immersion blender (or transfer to a regular blender, then back to the pot) and simmer for another 3 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely. This recipe yields about 2 1/2 cups. This is fresh jam with no preservatives, so if you're not going to use it in a few days or a week, freeze some in an airtight container.
I use these one cup Ball jars for jam storage (and a whole lot of other stuff). They’re super sturdy; I’ve had mine for about two years with moderate to heavy use and the lids look like new.