Last week, a day or two before I left for Portland, I made three batches of jam in rapid succession. The first was a combination of pears and persimmons. The second was a gingery apple butter. And the last one was a low sugar pear cranberry jam.
I meant to share the apple butter last week, and then got lost in travel and the pleasure of being with my parents and thus getting to be slightly less responsible than normal, so it didn’t happen. Because Thanksgiving is looming and I’ve been procrastinating, I thought I’d get this one up first, so that if it appealed to you, there’d still be time to make it before the holiday.
And while we’re on the subject of Thanksgiving and cranberries, don’t forget that the archives of this site are bursting with seasonally appropriate recipes. Here are some of my favorites.
- Apple Cranberry Compote (lower in sugar, could be made with honey or maple)
- Spiced Cranberry Jam (makes a ton, great if you want to send guests home with a little something special)
- Pear and Cranberry Jam (equal parts berries and pears, this one is good if you want more pucker)
- Apple Cranberry Jam (also makes a lot, I often tuck this one into gift bags around Christmas/Hanukkah)
- Cranberry Quince Sauce (great, if you can get your hands on some quince)
- Cranberry Shrub (cocktail makers, keep this one in mind)
- Pickled Cranberries (weird but wonderful)
- And finally, my homemade cranberry sauce, molded in a can so that it looks like store bought.
Low Sugar Pear Cranberry Jam
- 3 pounds pears, cored and chopped
- 1 pound cranberries, rinsed well
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Prepare a boiling water bath canner and enough jars to hold three pints.
- In a large pot, combine the pears, cranberries, sugar, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir well, until the sugar has started to dissolve.
- Set the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Once the mixture has started bubble vigorously, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring regularly, until the pears soften and the cranberries have all popped. If the jam seems a little too tight and the cranberries haven't all popped, add a splash of water to loosen it up.
- When the pears are tender, the cranberries have popped, and the jam seems nicely thick, it is done (budget 20-25 minutes of active cooking time).
- Remove the pot from the heat and funnel the finished jam into the prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- When the time is up, remove the jars from the canner and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
- Sealed jars can be stored in the pantry. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.