This cranberry lemon jam is super smooth, perfect for Thanksgiving, even better on a sandwich the day after Thanksgiving with turkey slices, great on bagels with cream cheese, and the lemon makes it seem bright and summery too. It’s a perfect jam. You definitely can make this cranberry lemon jam and preserve it in a water bath process- you do not have to use a steam canner. Or you can make it and eat it fresh. Store it in the refrigerator if you do.
If you are reading this recipe thinking that you’d love to make the jam, but don’t know anything about steam canning, don’t worry. You can make the jam without knowing anything about steam canning. Read on for the recipe or read this post about steam canning!
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Cranberry Lemon jam calls for
3 pounds Meyer lemons, washed well
1 bag or 1 ½ cup cranberries (okay if frozen from Thanksgiving time)
1 ½ cup sugar
Simmer WHOLE Meyer lemons in a large saucepan of water for about 20 minutes or until a fork slides into them easily.
Cool lemons until you can handle them easily, either by resting on a cutting board (slow) or submerging in an ice bath (much faster)
While the lemons cool, add the cranberries and sugar to a smaller saucepan and turn on low to medium-low. They will very slowly cook, bursting, and the sugar will dissolve. Stir occasionally.
Working over a bowl, with a knife and a grapefruit spoon or other semi pointy spoon, cut them in half, scoop out the visible seeds, and put the lemon halves into a food processor like this one
You can also use a blender to puree the lemon into a smooth mixture as well.
Or a food mill like this one-
just slice the lemons into quarters or even a bit smaller to lessen the effort required to work them up.
Once the lemons are super smooth, combine the lemon puree and the cranberry all together. Turn on medium-low to bring to a simmer. You want the mixture to be hissing, bubbling, and the bubbles bursting at the surface. This should be happening in about 10 minutes.
Prepare the steam canner.
If steam canning is new to you, you can get the Steam Canning Mini Resource Guide- It’s a PDF equipment checklist + fact sheet about how to get started with steam canning!
One at a time, fill the jars with the simmering jam, leave a quarter inch headspace, apply a new lid and ring, and set on the rack of the steam canner. Repeat with remaining jars.
Put the lid on the steam canner and turn the heat up to medium-high. When the dial on the steam canner indicates you are in the “zone” start the timer for 10 minutes, remembering to adjust for altitude (5 minutes of processing time added for every 1000 feet elevation). When the time is up, turn the burner off and wait till the lid of the steam canner has cooled significantly. Lift the lid away from you, and be aware that steam will come pouring out from the canner.
If you are processing your jars in a traditional water bath canning process, just process for 10 minutes, of course adjusting for altitude.
Lids will seal immediately or as long as 12 hours after you remove them from the canner. Label sealed lids and store.
That’s it, Wildflowers! It is delicious with cream cheese on a bagel, stirred into a sunny whiskey cocktail, or on a meat and cheese sandwich.
I have a little secret, though.
The whole process of making this jam is part of my Steam Canning Workshop video course. That’s right… you can watch me make this jam, step-by-step, in the course, along with a bunch of other recipes chosen for which time-saving, Steam Canner techniques they’d teach you- learn more here!