It is a relatively cost effective recipe, considering what you probably already have on hand. All spice, frozen strawberries and fresh cranberries were all I really needed to add.
With all my ingredients out and ready, I prepared my jars and lids. Then it was jam time. Since I'm not great at following directions or measuring things out, I made my own plan. I like to improvise. If you see a recipe and think, I'd like that sweeter or how can I cut the calories or make it a bit healthier, try it! Here's the results of my little experiment so you can try it too.
Water bath processing is a processing method used in home canning for high acid or sweet foods. The jars are filled and sealed. The jars are boiled completely covered in water for a specific amount of time. High-acid or sugary foods are items such as jams, jellies, pickles, relishes, salsas, and tomato products. So, water bath canning is perfect for this Spice Christmas Jam.
Getting Everything REady
- Cranberries – You can use frozen or fresh cranberries for this recipe. If you use frozen cranberries, there will be more moisture content, so you will need to cook for a little bit longer to evaporate that moisture, which will in turn, thicken the jam.
- Strawberries – Just like the cranberries, you can use frozen or fresh strawberries here too.
- Sugar – Don’t cut back on the sugar! The sugar amounts are set so that safe canning practices are met, helps to determine the thickness of the jam and whether or not the jelly will set properly. I used a sugar subsitute to help watch our calories. It works and measures the same.
- Liquid Fruit Pectin – Pectin natually occurs in the cells of nearly all fruits and berries, however, the amount varies. Pectin is low in strawberries, so a liquid fruit pectin is needed to help the jam set or firm up.
- Spices – You will need ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground allspice, and ground cloves.
Eliminate any risk whatsoever by always sterilizing your jars and lids. Just wash the jars in hot, soapy water. Rinse the jars well under running water to get rid of any soap residue. Then boil the jars and lids (not the rings).
- I like my jam chunky so I boiled and mashed my fruit (see video above). You can also puree them in your food processor if you like a smoother consistency.
- Measure the sugar and spices and add those to the large pot once your fruit is the consistency you'd like it.
- Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a full boil. Continue to boil for one full minute.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add in the liquid fruit pectin. Stir well to combine and place the saucepan back on the heat.
- Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove from the heat.
- Once the bubbling settles, use a spoon or ladle to skim off any foam and discard it.
- Next, ladle the hot jam into the hot jars being sure to leave 1/4 inch of headspace.
- Lower the jars (with lids and rings on) into the pot. Be sure the water level covers the jars by two inches. Bring the water to a boil, cover the canning pot, and boil for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the water and allow jam to cool and set, undisturbed, for 12 hours. Wipe jars and label accordingly. Store jam in cool, dark cabinet for up to a year.
Nutrition (if using real sugar)
Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.1g |
Saturated Fat: 0.003g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g |
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.004g | Sodium: 0.3mg | Potassium: 16mg | Fiber: 0.3g |
Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.1mg