Cranberry Orange Preserves

Cranberry Orange Preserves

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh or frozen cranberries (2 12-ounce bags / about 6 cups)
  • 1 seedless navel orange, unpeeled and quartered (this can be left out if you don't like the marmalade flavor it will add)
  • juice of 1/2 an orange (about 2-3 tablespoons orange juice)
  • cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 7 tablespoons classic pectin (not the no-sugar/low-sugar kind)
  • 5 cups granulated sugar


Place the cranberries in a large stock pot.   Place the orange quarters, including the peel, and orange juice in your food processor and puree into a chunky pulp.  Add to the stock pot.  Add the cinnamon stick, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla and water to the pot.

Over medium heat, simmer the fruit and spices for about 20-30 minutes, until the cranberries burst and the flavors develop.  Mash the fruit with a potato masher, leaving it as chunky as you like.  Stir in the butter (this helps prevent a foamy texture to the jam).

Sprinkle the pectin over the mixture and stir to combine.  Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil, while stirring constantly.  Add the sugar all at once and stir to dissolve.  Return to a vigorous boil, while stirring constantly, and boil hard for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat.  Remove the cinnamon stick from the pot.

Ladle the hot jam into hot sterilized jars and process in a water bath according to standard canning procedures, or simply cool and store in the fridge to be eaten within a few months. (See my previous post on canning.)

For a gift, tie with a pretty ribbon and label.

Yields 8 half-pint jars (8 cups) of jam.