December Can Jam: Cranberry Marmalade with Dried Apricots

cranberry chutney

I’m not quite sure how it’s possible, but we’ve reached the end of the 2010 Can Jam. I’m not sure if I’m still even eligible to participate, since I’ve gotten my posts up past the deadline the last two times, but it felt strange not to finish things off, so I’m posting a contribution nonetheless.

sliced oranges

As you might guess, due to Wednesday’s potluck, I’ve had The Essential New York Times Cookbook on the brain a bit lately. I’ve had my copy for about two weeks now and even before Amanda Hesser signed it, I found myself carrying it from room to room (granted, we really only have three rooms, so that isn’t as much of a feat as it sounds) so as to always have it near. You know, in case a recipe emergency struck.

cooking the chutney

When it was time to determine what I was going to make for the December Can Jam, it felt right to turn to my new best-friend-in-book-form and see what it had to offer. There’s a whole chapter devoted to Sauces, Dressings, Condiments, Rubs and Preserves, so there was quite a wealth to choose from. Keeping the theme ingredient (dried fruit) in mind, I settled on a recipe for Cranberry Chutney. It called for dried apricots and was quite seasonal to boot.

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Originally designed as part of a low stress Thanksgiving meal, it’s a chutney recipe different from those I’ve encountered in the past. It does not include onions or vinegar, so it doesn’t offer the pucker or sweet-and-savory aspect that so many of us have come to associate with the word chutney. That does not mean, however, that it isn’t worth making. I found it to be quite delicious, though more akin to marmalade than chutney (whole, chopped orange will do that a palate).

cranberry chutney with dried apricots

For once in my life, I followed the recipe fairly devotedly. The one place I deviated is that I did a bit of small batch canning with it. I kept one jar for the fridge (that’s the one you see above) and then filled as second (traditional, with a two-piece lid) pint jar with what remained and water bath canned it for ten minutes (using my handy little asparagus steamer). I did this because while it was quite tasty, there’s no way I’ll be able to work my way through two full pints quickly enough to merit that kind of refrigerator space. Because the recipe was written for Thanksgiving, it did not include directions for canning. However, the recipe is made of up a cacophony of high acid ingredients, so there shouldn’t be a problem. For even longer shelf stability, you could replace some of the honey with sugar.

The recipe is after the jump.

Cranberry Marmalade

Yield: Makes 2 to 2 1/2 pints

Ingredients

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 orange, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tart apple, cored and minced
  • 12 dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Instructions

  1. Combine the orange juice, cranberries and chopped orange in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a simmer and let cook until the cranberries begin to burst.
  2. Add the apple, apricots, honey and cardamom and cook for approximately 20 minutes, until the orange rinds are tender and it has thickened (watch it carefully, honey scorches easily. I speak from experience here).
  3. Once it has reached a consistency you like, remove it from the heat. Should you want to can it, pour chutney into prepared jars. Remove air bubbles, wipe the rims and apply lids/bands. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (don’t start your timer until the water has returned to a boil).
  4. For an even more shelf stable product, replace 3/4 of a cup of the honey with one cup of unprocessed cane sugar (honey is sweeter than sugar, so you need a bit more to make up the difference).
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29 Responses to December Can Jam: Cranberry Marmalade with Dried Apricots

  1. 1
    Kimberley says:

    I love this. Especially contained in that lovely Ball jar. I can’t help but wonder how it would taste if there were onion and vinegar.

  2. 2

    This looks delicious. Don’t you just love using cardamom? It gives that special “something” that people can’t describe. Mmmmm

  3. 3
    tigress says:

    yes, you are so still in for the round-up this month! and i’m reminded how you turned me on to canning in these great vintage jars. on thanksgiving i was looking at my grandmother’s betty crocker cookbook from the 50’s and there were instructions on how to use them! (you leave the side wire halfway up when canning and close it when you take them out) :)

  4. 4
    Janet says:

    I couldn’t resist this one, and am amazed at how scarily quickly it cooked. Maybe 5 minutes simmer after adding the apple/honey/sugar/cardamon mix. I added the juice of one lemon because I had a lemon lying around waiting to be used, and then added a splash of balsamic for a little bit of kick. I also wonder about adding vinegar/onions to give it more of a chutney bite.

    Next time.

  5. 5
    Jonna says:

    Sounds great! If I make this it will be the third marmalade in two weeks (I also did a meyer-lemon-lavender and carrot). Can anybody tell me more about using those beautiful old ideal jars for actual canning? I have a TON of them. They need a rubber gasket, right? Are those still available? I see gaskets for the zinc tops around, but can’t seem to find any info on the glass tops…Thanks!

  6. 6
    Jonna says:

    Thank you! FYI – somebody is selling le parfait jelly jars on ebay for ridiculous prices – $11 for 12. They normally sell at that price for each one. This post should possibly be a pm, but hey!

  7. 7
    amanda says:

    This Cranberry not so Chutney more like Marmalade recipe looks like it creates a product that will be a wonderfully festive gift. I love cardamom. Thanks Marisa! Now, I have a question that I’m hoping someone might be able to answer briefly. Can anyone please share with me what in the world is “the jump”. For example in the above post “The recipe is after the jump”.

    • 7.1
      Janet says:

      It’s some sort of a gap in a blog entry. It could be an ad, or a picture, or anything on those lines.

      • Marisa says:

        When I use the phrase, “after the jump” it means that the recipe is hidden from the main page of the site and that you need to click through to the post-specific page. If you click over from a feed reader or an email alert about the post, the recipe is visible to you, but if you’re reading on the main page of the site, you won’t see it.

  8. 8
    Kim W. says:

    Huzzah! I’m still trying to use up my family cranberry haul this year.

  9. 9
    Janet says:

    Tried this one last night with lightly grilled (organic) salmon, and it was amazing. Definitely one to keep.

  10. 10
    Julia says:

    Cranberries and oranges, how can you go wrong? I do agree, though, I just can’t picture a chutney without onions or vinegar, though I’m sure it exists. Like right in that fab book! Happy End of Can Jam to you, Marisa!

  11. 11
    Amelia says:

    The jar looks wonderful! I’ve always saw them, but didn’t know what to do with them. Now I know.

  12. 12
    Angela says:

    I made this with canned apricots, about a cup more sugar and threw in some pumpkin seeds. Do you think the seeds will go bad more quickly than the sauce?

    Thanks so much for your blog, I love it.

    • 12.1
      Marisa says:

      Angela, I don’t think the pumpkin seeds will go bad. They will rapidly start to lose their crunch though, so be prepared for that. And I’m so glad to hear you like FiJ! Thank you!

  13. 13

    [...] of a quince-cranberry creation, and by the the latest of my internet blog browsing, I settled for a cranberry, orange, apricot concoction that reads like a preserve and tastes more like a chutney. I tweaked the recipe a little to replace [...]

  14. 14

    I made this with canned apricots, about a cup more sugar and threw in some pumpkin seeds. Do you think the seeds will go bad more quickly than the sauce? Thanks so much for your blog, I love it.

  15. 15
    kaela says:

    I went searching for cranberry marmalade recipes and of course ended up here. :) I remember seeing this one in the round-up; but two questions:

    1. Is cane sugar really more shelf stable than honey? Honey doesn’t go bad, it will just crystallize over time so, I have to wonder if subbing sugar in would really increase the stability. Just my geeky curiousity.

    2. Have you ever heard Tigress’ advice about leaving the ball jar wire in the halfway position? Never heard that before… intriguing.

    • 15.1
      Marisa says:

      Kaela, here’s the thing with using honey as your only sweetener. It does fine as a preservative when the jar is sealed. However, it loses its preservative power once you open it. Sugar will help fight the growth of mold once the jar is open, while honey isn’t able to do that (when it’s raw it can do it, but not once it’s been boiled). So I guess my statement wasn’t quite correct, replacing the honey won’t help with shelf stability, it will help with refrigerator stability.

      As far as Tigress’s advice, I had not heard that before. However, it does make a lot of sense.

  16. 16

    [...] cranberry marmalade with dried apricots – food in jarsyou just keep taunting me with that book don’t you? (i totally know what you mean about book recipe emergencies – i have 3 books i’m totin’ now!) oh, and the cardamom sounds perfect in this! [...]

  17. 17
    kaela says:

    Hmmm. Fascinating. I’ve really got to figure out more about how sugar & honey interact within the fruit matrix. (And yes, I just said ‘matrix.’) I really need to open up my Jam Lab.

    Thanks for the info!

  18. 18

    [...] me looking for cranberry recipes? Well, I was specifically hoping for a cranberry marmalade: Marisa has one, but I was looking for something more about the citrus, with just an accent of cranberry; Madeline [...]

  19. 19
    Cindys says:

    Great recipe!

  20. 20
    Lorri says:

    I’m curious about chopping the whole orange. How does the pith turn out in the final product?

  21. 21
    Amy F says:

    Would using frozen cranberries be a mistake? I think I have a pint of fresh in the fridge but I know I stocked up when they were cheap in Dec. and put more than that in the freezer.

    I got my canner out to make beans tomorrow and I have the rest of the ingredients on hand already so it wouldn’t be hard to throw this together. I haven’t canned since October but once you start, it’s hard to stop, isn’t it?

  22. 22
    Jan Baker says:

    When I read a recipe, and then read the comments posted by people who did not follow the directions or made capricious changes- I always think to myself- “well, you dope, what did you expect?”

    I made two batches of this jam as written, and they are great. I had leftover cranberries and apricots, so I made a third batch. It was only after I’d chopped everything up that I realized that I had no more cardamom. I substituted a big nob of fresh ginger grated on a microplane grater, and some cinnamon. Delicious! Perhaps I won’t be so hasty to condemn the freelancers in the future!

  23. 23
    caseyOR says:

    I’m a little confused. Should I peel the orange or should I chop the orange peel and all?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. It’s all about cranberries « Jams, chutneys and other misadventures - December 17, 2010

    [...] of a quince-cranberry creation, and by the the latest of my internet blog browsing, I settled for a cranberry, orange, apricot concoction that reads like a preserve and tastes more like a chutney. I tweaked the recipe a little to replace [...]

  2. can jam december round-up: dried fruit | The Hungry Tigress - January 22, 2011

    [...] cranberry marmalade with dried apricots – food in jarsyou just keep taunting me with that book don’t you? (i totally know what you mean about book recipe emergencies – i have 3 books i’m totin’ now!) oh, and the cardamom sounds perfect in this! [...]

  3. Orange Cranberry Marmalade « local kitchen - January 31, 2011

    [...] me looking for cranberry recipes? Well, I was specifically hoping for a cranberry marmalade: Marisa has one, but I was looking for something more about the citrus, with just an accent of cranberry; Madeline [...]

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