This super easy Christmas Jam has sweet-tart, delicious flavor!

This Christmas Jam is a simple sweet-tart jam made from strawberries and cranberries. Recipe includes a FREE label printable for gift giving!

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.

PIN THIS RECIPE NOW!

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 Christmas Jam is a simple sweet-tart jam made from strawberries and cranberries. Recipe includes a FREE label printable for gift giving!

PIN THIS RECIPE NOW!

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.

This Christmas Jam is a simple sweet-tart jam made from strawberries and cranberries. Recipe includes a FREE label printable for gift giving!

PIN THIS RECIPE NOW!

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

  1. 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.
  2. Does this recipe REALLY call for 5 pounds of sugar? Yes – that is the amount called for in the original recipe.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Christmas Jam Label Download 

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Christmas Jam - A Family Feast

Christmas Jam

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 14 half-pint jars

Description

If you are planning to can this jam, have your sterilized jars, rims, bands and canning tools ready and sterilized ahead of time.


Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Boil for 1 minute.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and add the pectin, stirring to mix completely.
  5. Allow the jam to cool for 5 minutes, then skim off the foam on the top.
  6. 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.
  7. Process the jars for 10 minutes in a water bath. (Read more how to’s here).
  8. Makes about 14 half-pint jars. Recipe may be halved.

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    Comments

  • Carol Wilmet wrote:

    This sounds so good. I can’t have seeds do you think I could follow this recipe and just send it through a cheese cloth? And maybe make 1/2 batch?

    • Martha wrote:

      Sure Carol – you can strain the seeds and cut the recipe in half!

  • Joann wrote:

    If I made this today, how would I keep it for Christmas gifts. Does it need to be kept in the refrigerator or can it be kept on a shelf until time to give away? And how long is the shelf/refrigerator life?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Joann – If you can the jam (following the proper steps for the waterbath canning method) – the jars will keep up to a year. (Here is a link to the method: https://www.freshpreserving.com/waterbath-canning.html ) Once you’ve opened the jar of jam, keep it refrigerated for up to a month. If you choose not to can the jam, you will need to keep it refrigerated. It makes a large batch so we’d definitely recommend canning the filled jars.

  • Lisa Ethier wrote:

    This looks fabulous. Can you substitute the cranberries with raspberries? Just wondering if the recipe would stay the same.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Lisa – We haven’t swapped in raspberries ourselves, but we’ve had some followers on Facebook comment that they have successfully swapped in raspberries. Unfortunately I don’t know what proportions they used or if they made any other changes to the recipe. Sorry I can’t help more but if you try it, please report back!

  • Twola wrote:

    Made 2 batches last year to give away as gifts, this year I will make at least 3. Yesterday I found cranberries at Walmart so jam time it is!

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad everyone on your gift list is enjoying the jam! 🙂

  • sandie wrote:

    I love this recipe and trying it IN THE MORNING. BUT, I also have some raspberries and grapes in my freezer, will they work too?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Sandie – We’ve had a few readers tell us that they have added raspberries and it came out great. I’m not sure about the grapes! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Stefanie wrote:

    Hi Laura,

    I know this post is old, but I just found it and would love to make these for gifts this year. I have several questions as a newbie to this kind of thing and I’m hoping you can help me. Sorry if these are silly!

    What do I need to do to sterilize the mason jars before filling?
    When it says to top with “hot lids”, I’m not sure I understand how to be sure the lids are hot?
    What is the best way to fill the jars – a funnel?

    Thank you so much for your help!!!

    Stefanie

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Stefanie – Not silly questions at all – since you haven’t canned before, I’d suggest reading information on Ball Canning’s website – they explain the Water Bath Canning method well here: http://www.freshpreserving.com/waterbath-canning.html (You’ll sterilize the jars in a pot of boiling water, we also dip our lids in the hot water – so that is the “hot lids” we refer to in our recipe.) There are funnels (see here: http://amzn.to/2h26de8) as well as jar lifters (see here: http://amzn.to/2yI38aP) that are helpful tools to have when canning. Hope that helps!

  • Rebecca Lake wrote:

    I will be making this for gifts this year. I’m teaching my grandchildren his to make jams and jellies. This one sounds great!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Rebecca – We love that you are teaching your grandchildren how to make jams and jellies! We hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do!

  • Sharon wrote:

    I was wondering why the liquid pectin, can you use the powdered kind?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Sharon – We’ve only made this recipe ourselves with the liquid pectin. My understanding is that liquid pectin is typically used when it is added at the end of a recipe, after the fruit has boiled. (Powdered pectin will need to be added earlier in the cooking process.) I personally find the liquid pectin easier. Hope that helps!

  • Toni-Sue Lua wrote:

    with the amount of natural pectin in the cranberries this could also be done the old fashioned way by cooking it til it thickens. I would go a cup of sugar to a cup of fruit. I am going to make this.

    • Martha wrote:

      If you try the recipe without the pectin, please let us know how it comes out!

  • Tara Robicheau wrote:

    Is it really 5 lbs of sugar, or should it be cups?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Tara – It really is 5 pounds of sugar.

  • Jane Sperberg wrote:

    Can we use Splenda instead of sugar, and used raspberries instead of strawberries

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Jane – I don’t believe the jam will set up using Splenda – the pectin does need some sugar to interact with so the jam firms up. I’ve never tried making this with raspberries so I can’t say for sure how it will come out.

  • Andrea Herron wrote:

    I tried the recipe and My Christmas Jan came out running I followed the ingredients to a T can someone tell me what went wrong

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Andrea – I’m sorry to hear that you had problems with the recipe. Although it sounds like you followed the recipe, did you make any substitutions or reduce/eliminate any ingredients? Did you bring the jam to a full rolling boil? It’s so hard to tell what went wrong without being in your kitchen with you! To salvage things, you could try reheating all of the jam again on the stove and adding more pectin. Hope that works for you!

  • katherine wrote:

    Hi! This sounds heavenly!! Ive already thought of some tweaks to personalize it. I do hsve a quedtion. I use Ball classic powder pectin, do you know compared to the liquid how much I’d need to use?

  • Barbara Hale wrote:

    Can you substitute dried cranberries in this jam recipe

    • Martha wrote:

      No Barbara – Fresh or frozen should be used. (I don’t think attempting to reconstitute the dried cranberries will work.)

  • Mary-Gail Durst wrote:

    I don’t have a scale, can you send me the recipe in cups/ounces instead of pounds ?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Mary-Gail – Berries (especially strawberries) vary in size so a cup of large strawberries will yield less than a cup of smaller strawberries that can be packed inside the cup measure. To ensure that your jam comes out correctly with the right proportion of fruit to pectin and other ingredients, measuring by weight rather than volume is best. Home scales are very inexpensive (our was $15) but if you don’t want to buy them, as you go to buy your ingredients, you could also weigh the fruit in the produce aisle scale to make sure you have enough. Hope that helps.

  • Amber wrote:

    Hi is there a reason why the pectin was added last. All my recipes for jams/jellies you add pectin with fruit bring to a rolling boil then add sugar return to boil , boil 5 minutes then ladle into jars? I’ve messed up before and added sugar first and pectin last and mine didn’t set so is there a difference with this recipe? Could it be because you’re using liquid pectin instead of powder? Thanks for your help

  • Anna wrote:

    Hi Martha
    What name brand pectin did you use?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Anna – We use the Certo/Sure-Jell liquid pectin.

      • Anna wrote:

        Thanks for getting back to me. Am looking forward to making your jam.
        Merry Christmas and a Great New Year

  • Kelly wrote:

    Hi! I made two batches of this jelly over the weekend. I got 14 half pint jars both times (and a tad left over that I put in a bowl for immediate use). I make jelly every year to give as gifts. This one is a keeper! Here are a couple of tips. I used a digital kitchen scale to measure out 40 oz of strawberries. Also, if you add a tablespoon of butter to the jam as it is boiling, you won’t get any foam. I love the cute labels! What size labels do you suggest buying? I know they usually have a code or something like to to enter into the computer before printing. Thank you!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for the suggestions Kelly – so glad you enjoy the recipe! Any 2-inch round labels should work – these are the ones from Avery that we used to design the template: http://amzn.to/2hB6iYi

  • Pauline Heaven wrote:

    We made your cranberry pistachio biscotti, cranberry brownies and strawberry cranberry jam a couple of days ago at our club for our upcoming Edibles Mkt. They are all delicious tasting. However the jam did not set up! The ratio of sugar to fruit seemed too high and we did reduce the sugar. The result was plenty sweet enough, but the jam has not set up. We are thinking of rebranding it as waffle and pancake topping! I did some research about why this had happened as our ratio of fruit to sugar was still well within the average for jam recipes. One article I read said that the pectin jell you recommended has changed it’s formulation and does not work as well any more. Any suggestions for fixing the “jam”? Thanks

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Pauline – I can’t tell from your email how much you reduced the sugar by – but I’m guessing that is the culprit. We made a batch of this jam recently using the liquid pectin (and exactly as written) and had no issues; I haven’t read anything about a pectin formula change but it’s possible. Anyway, you could try reboiling the jam and adding more sugar and pectin to mixture. I’m sorry a reduced sugar version didn’t work out for you!

  • Candace wrote:

    Hi…..I made this jam today, and it is delicious. I followed the recipe exactly as directed, but I only got 10 – 1/2 pt. jars. I’m wondering why? I was hoping to get at least 13 out of the recipe. Anyone else not get 14 jars? Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Candace – I’ll leave your comment here to see if anyone else saw a different yield than what we had when we make the jam. Sorry for the inconvenience!

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