This super easy Christmas Jam has sweet-tart, delicious flavor!
I know it’s Halloween today…but we’re already getting ready for Christmas! Homemade gifts for the holiday season are some of my favorites to give and receive – especially when they are as delicious as our Christmas Jam.
This simple jam is a sweet-tart mix of strawberries and cranberries (plus sugar and pectin) – and the flavor combination is out of this world. (It’s so good, my husband Jack says he doesn’t want to give any of these jars of jam away this Christmas!)
In addition to this jam being super delicious, one of the best things is that it is super easy to make! Scroll below to our recipe card to watch a video showing how it’s made.
This Christmas Jam also cans very well, so even though Christmas is still a little less than two months away, it will be here before you know it! So you can make this Christmas Jam now before the holiday rush and then you’ll be all ready for gift-giving. It’s also the perfect jam to use in these cookies.
This recipe is from the Tougas Family Farm cookbook (you can see it here). I’ve seen other versions of Christmas Jam online with orange zest or orange peel added, but we liked the simple sweet strawberry-tart cranberry contrast of flavors the best. You can use fresh or frozen strawberries and cranberries (we used a combination of both) – so use whichever is best for you!
And to make your gift-giving even easier – we’re sharing a free printable for the Christmas Jam labels you see in our photos! They are sized for these two inch round labels to stick to the top of half-pint decorative jars, or to create a gift label as shown in the photo at the top of this post.
Christmas Jam is a simple and delicious treat that everyone on your holiday gift list will love! (And here’s one last helpful tip – this Christmas Jam is a delicious alternative to cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving! If your guests don’t like the tart flavors of cranberry sauce, they will probably love this jam instead!)
Please note: You must DOWNLOAD THE LABELS FIRST before you will be able to print them.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I freeze this jam instead of canning it? The answer is…I don’t know! We’ve only made (and canned) this jam as written so I don’t know how it will work as a freezer jam. If you try it, please let us know in the comments below.
- Does this recipe REALLY call for 5 pounds of sugar? Yes – that is the amount called for in the original recipe.
- Can I make this jam with less sugar? Yes – we’ve had several readers tell us in the comments below that they have successfully made this jam with less sugar. Some readers used low sugar pectin while others simply reduced the sugar. We haven’t done so ourselves so we can’t share our own experience, nor can we say how reducing the sugar will impact the finished texture of the jam. But feel free to scroll below through the comments for some additional information.
- Can I use sugar substitute in this jam recipe? We haven’t tested it ourselves, but I’m going to say no. Pectin needs the interaction with sugar to set the jam so you would likely need to make some other adjustments to the recipe if you cut out the sugar.
- Can I used powdered pectin instead of liquid? Again, we haven’t tested it ourselves, but we have had readers swap in powdered for liquid. Liquid pectin is added at the end of this recipe because it doesn’t need to be boiled/cooked, while powdered pectin requires some cooking time so you’ll want to add it earlier in the recipe. Here’s a great article about the topic.
- How long will this Christmas Jam keep? When properly canned and stored in a cool, dark place, we’ve enjoyed jars of this Christmas Jam for up to a year. If you don’t can the jam, keep refrigerated for about two weeks.
- Can I add other fruits to this jam? Sure. Just note that sometimes the amount of pectin may need to be adjusted depending on the natural pectins found in whatever fruit you swap in.
- My jam didn’t set. What do I do? Assuming that you followed the recipe exactly as written, if your jam didn’t set, you can try reheating it and adding some more pectin.
- I can’t print the labels. What do I do? You MUST download the labels first before attempting to print. The labels are created as a Word document so as long as you have that, or another program that can handle Word documents, you should be able to print them.
If you are planning to can this jam, have your sterilized jars, rims, bands and canning tools ready and sterilized ahead of time.
- 2 packages (20 ounces each) frozen whole strawberries (fresh strawberries may also be substituted)
- 1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries
- 5 pounds sugar (This is not a typo – 5 pounds is the correct amount. Some readers have told us that they successfully used less sugar when making this jam.)
- 2 pouches (3-ounces each) liquid fruit pectin
- In a food processor, pulse the strawberries and cranberries – you can process them to a finely chopped texture for a completely smooth jam, or leave some fruit partially chopped for a chunkier jam.
- Pour the processed fruit into a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add sugar and over medium high heat, bring the fruit and sugar mixture to a full rolling boil.
- Boil for 1 minute.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add the pectin, stirring to mix completely.
- Allow the jam to cool for 5 minutes, then skim off the foam on the top.
- Ladle the hot jam mixture into sterile half-pint jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims clean, cover with hot lids and screw on the jar bands.
- Process the jars for 10 minutes in a water bath. (Read more how to’s here).
- Makes about 14 half-pint jars. Recipe may be halved.
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