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Christmas Jam Canning Recipe

17. November 2022

Our friend and guest blogger Chez LaRae worked up this festive jam canning recipe. You can follow LaRae’s amazing food adventures on Instagram and her website. LaRae is a self-taught baker, cooking and baking instructor, & recipe developer. See LaRae's other recipe guest blog posts.

Holiday Jam is like Christmas in a jar with its gorgeous ruby red color and rich, warm spices. This jam makes festive hostess gifts or cute stocking stuffers. Serve with waffles, pancakes, cheese platters or alongside savory, holiday dinners.


Christmas Jam Canning Recipe |

Decorate your jars with Custom Apothecary Santa labels or Custom Apothecary Christmas canning labels which come in red and green options. Shop all of our Custom Holiday Canning Labels.

 Holiday Jam Canning Recipe |


Note: This recipe cannot be doubled. Make one batch at a time or make two batches in two separate pots side-by-side. 

Christmas Jam

Recipe modified from America’s Test Kitchen’s “Foolproof Preserving”


Special equipment: Instant-read thermometer

Preservation method: Water bath canning

Difficulty level: Easy to moderate

YIELD: Makes 4 half-pint jars

  • 16 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 lb (about 2) granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated orange zest + ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg



Christmas Jam Canning Recipe Card |


Christmas Jam Canning Recipe with Fresh Cranberries |

Place a small plate in the freezer for a jam “frozen plate test” (See details below).


Waterbath Canning Christmas Jam |


Place the canning rack in the bottom of a boiling water canner, then place empty jars on the rack. Add water to the jars and the canner until the jars are about two-thirds full. Cover the canner and bring the water to a simmer over medium heat.


Christmas Jam Canning Recipe with apples, cranberries, orange citrus fruit |


In a Dutch oven, bring cranberries, apples, water, orange zest, and juice to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally until cranberries burst, about 5 minutes. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg and continue to boil until sugar has dissolved.

Remove Dutch oven from heat. Crush fruit with a potato masher until desired consistency is achieved. Return mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until mixture is thickened and registers 217 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring continuously. Remove pot from heat.


Frozen Plate Test for making Christmas Jam |


Frozen plate test: To test jam’s consistency, remove the frozen plate from the freezer. Place one teaspoon of jam on the plate. Drag your finger or a wooden spoon through the jam. The jam has the correct consistency when your finger or spoon leaves a distinct trail that doesn’t run back together. If runny, return the pot to the heat and simmer one minute longer before retesting.


Christmas Jam Canning Recipe |


Ladle jam immediately into prepared jars, leaving ¼” headspace. Wipe jar rims and threads with a moistened towel. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands to finger-tip tight.


Waterbath Canning Holiday Jam |


Place jars onto a rack in the canner. Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Cover, and bring water to a boil. Once boiling, process the jam for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let jars sit in the canner for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely. After the jars cool, check seals by pressing the centers of lids with your finger. If the lid springs back, the lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.

Let prepared jars stand at room temperature 24 hours. After 24 hours, layer CanningCrafts’ jam jar fabric onto jars and screw on lids. Tie ribbons around the top, affix CanningCrafts’ custom holiday labels, and write dates on jars. Store unopened jam in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year. 



Holiday Christmas Jam Canning Recipe |

Decorate your jars with Custom Apothecary Santa labels or Custom Apothecary Christmas canning labels which come in red and green options. Shop all of our Custom Holiday Canning Labels.


 Christmas Jam Canning Recipe |


Ho Ho Holiday Jam Canning Recipe |


Shop for Custom Christmas Canning Labels

Shop for Custom Christmas Canning Labels on


Want more Christmas Jam recipes? See our Black Forest Macaroon Jam Canning Recipe.

Black Forest Macaroon Christmas Jam Canning Recipe |


See our DIY Christmas Mason Jar Gift Ideas blog post for other recipes & holiday decor. 

Christmas Mason Jar Gifts |


Follow our Christmas Canning Pinterest Board for recipes & inspiration.

CanningCrafts Christmas Canning Pinterest Board



Ho Ho Holiday Christmas Jam Canning Recipe |


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Comments (3)

Diane on November 06, 2023

Delicious Jam

Thank You for the recipe

Ali on December 17, 2023

Do you leave the water in the jars when you put the jam in it?

CanningCrafts on December 17, 2023

You’ll want to dump the water out of the jars before putting the jam in. But whatever tiny amount of water that is left in the jar after dumping it out will usually evaporate. Any tiny drops of water left are fine.

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