Holiday Berry Jam for Gift Giving

This holiday berry jam combines frozen strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries with fresh cranberries. The result is a bright, flavorful jam that works beautifully for holiday gift bags and baskets.

Four jars of holiday berry jam.

No matter how much jam making I do during the summer season, I almost always find myself a little short on the desirable jams come gift giving time. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have mountains of preserves. But many of them were experimental batches that just don’t work for neighbors and Scott’s coworkers.

Fruit for holiday berry jam.

This year, instead of relying only on pears and apples to make up the shortfall, I headed for the freezer section at the grocery store. In the past, I’ve been hesitant to make giftable jam exclusively with frozen fruit, because I find it almost always ends up with a softer set and a slightly dull flavor.

Ingredients for holiday berry jam in a pot.

But last week, the solution came to me in a flash. Cranberries. Combine frozen berries with a small portion of cranberries and you get perfect jam every time. The cranberries provide both ample pectin and welcome acidity to ensure that the jam sets and tastes terrific. Holiday berry jam is born!

Finished holiday berry jam in the pot.

I made this jam with 24 ounces of raspberries, 12 ounces of strawberries, 12 ounces of blueberries, and 8 ounces of cranberries. You can easily change up the frozen fruit, but maintain the basic ratio of three pounds frozen berries to 8 ounces of cranberries.

Holiday berry jam in an open jar.

The yield on this sucker was just a little bit more than 6 cups. I canned it in four 12 ounce jelly jars because those were the easiest jars to put my hands on. You could also do six half pints or even a dozen 4 ounce jelly jars. Make it work for you.

Oh, and one last thing. If you have an Aldi near you, know that it’s an excellent spot to pick up your frozen fruit. Their prices are awesome and they often have organic options.

Holiday Berry Jam

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces frozen raspberries
  • 12 ounces frozen strawberries
  • 12 ounces frozen blueberries
  • 8 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 3 cups sugar

Instructions

  1. Prepare a boiling water bath canner and enough jars to hold six half pints of product.
  2. Combine the berries and sugar in a large, non-reactive pot. Stir to combine. Let sit for 30 minutes or so, until the berries are mostly defrosted.
  3. Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring regularly, until the jam thickens. This should take between 20 and 25 minutes. Because of the presence of the cranberries, this jam will pass the sheet test on a spatula.
  4. When the jam is finished, remove the pot from the heat.
  5. Funnel the jam into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  6. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
  7. When the time is up, remove the jars and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. When the jars have cooled enough that you can comfortable handle them, check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.
http://foodinjars.com/2016/12/holiday-berry-jam-giving/

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17 Responses to Holiday Berry Jam for Gift Giving

  1. 1
    ColleenB.~Texas says:

    How Wonderful. Thank U. No time for me to make this year but will be saving for me to make come next year.
    Stay warm

  2. 2
    Terri says:

    This is what I’ve been looking for! You rock, Marissa!

  3. 3
    Sande says:

    Nice for last minute add on to gifts. My lemon Lady 10 lbs. just arrived so I will be so busy, may have to skip a few more work days…shhh! Thank you Marissa and Happy Holiday!

  4. 4
    Angela says:

    I did a cranberry strawberry jam for gifts this year and it was awesome. I used some berries I froze over the summer and fresh cranberries. The colour is wonderful and the flavor is out of this world. I will be trying more cranberry/berry combos like this recipe in the future for sure!
    Hope you have a safe and joyous holiday Marissa!

  5. 5
    Kelli says:

    Oh, that looks so good!

  6. 6
    BethAnn says:

    Thanks for the inspiration and the recipe! Are the measurements by volume or weight? Just trying to figure out how to portion out larger bags of frozen berries to make the recipe. Happy Holidays!

    • 6.1
      Marisa says:

      The measurements are by weight. Frozen fruit doesn’t do volume measurements particularly well.

      • Robin says:

        aha That explains why my jams from frozen berries is so different from that made with fresh berries. I’ll be on a jam and jelly making spree this week to fill gift baskets. This will help my jam turn out as well as it does in summer. Thanks!

      • Jane says:

        Just to clarify weighing frozen fruit (I have some self-picked berries in my freezer) — do we weigh the frozen fruit while it’s still frozen? Thanks for clarifying!

  7. 7

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  8. 8
    Kristen says:

    You are brilliant! Because, yes, every summer I make tons of jam and then come Christmas time I think, hmmm not as many choices as I thought. Plus it sounds absolutely delicious! Thank you

  9. 9
    Sarah Heimann says:

    Thank you! I made three batches yesterday. Deep and interesting flavor from all of them. It’s such a treat to know what to do with the bags of frozen berries in my freezer. I love picking blueberries and raspberries, but don’t always use them efficiently.

  10. 10

    Many thanks for the motivation as well as the dish. This is exactly what I have actually been looking for! Thanks for sharing.

  11. 11
    Marshall says:

    Marisa,

    Great recipe…got to try…I’m always at Aldi buying baking goods for Christmas Cookies. I’ve never tried their frozen fruit. I’m going to give it a whirl.

    Marshall

  12. 12
    Erin says:

    Marissa, I waited too long to make this and can no longer find fresh cranberries; however, I do have some that I froze at Thanksgiving when they were everywhere. Will this jam work with all frozen fruit? Thank you!

  13. 13
    Diane McKenzie says:

    Marisa, Thank you. This jam is fantastic. It set up perfectly!!!

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