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December 28, 2010

Cran-Neño Jam!

I put out a feeler on my facebook a week or so ago about what my family would like better for a gift, a salted caramel pear butter or a cranberry jalapeno jam. While most of my friends voted for the butter, the family weighed in with a vote that was almost unanimous towards the jam.

So today I made it! And it's delicious!

A complex layer of flavors that hits your palate when you try it - the heat from the jalapeno, the sweet from the sugar, the tart from the lime and cranberry. Again, something that pairs wonderfully with cream cheese and crackers...seriously, do I can anything that DOESN'T pair well with cream cheese and crackers? Thank you Amy for introducing me...life hasn't been the same since.

This is a really simple, straightforward project and I encourage you to try it. I made 13 pints as well as having another 2 that I just stuck in the fridge for Christmas Day.

6 cups water
6 cups sugar
3 lb bag of cranberries
6 jalapenos
2 limes, zested and juiced


Chop 1/2 of the cranberries and all of the jalapenos (you can deseed or remove the pith first if you don't want it too spicy) in your food processor. I pulsed mine maybe 12-15 times.

Bring water and sugar to a boil in a large stockpot. Cook until sugar dissolves and then boil hard for 5 minutes. 

Add all the cranberries, jalapenos and the zest of the lime

Bring back to a boil and cook hard for 15 minutes or longer, making sure that the cranberries pop and release their juices.

Take off the heat and stir in the lime juice. Fill pint or jelly jars 1/4" from top, release bubbles, and process for 15 mn. Let sit for a minimum of 24 hours before opening.

p.s. I'm finally publishing this now, after Christmas - a couple notes - I accidentally let this boil over after I had added the fruit and the peppers and all my seeds (a source of most of the heat) rose over or stuck to the sides of the pan. The batch that I stuck in my fridge had most of the seeds and so was really spicy and wonderful, but all the ones that I canned were really tame. However, the flavor was still really good. I served it at two different parties and it was  hit both times, so have fun with it and enjoy! Even mistakes turn out wonderful sometimes...


  1. Oh my god! This sounds amazing..I have a few bags of cranberries AND jalapenos in my freezer...this is definitely something that I'm going to have to try out...why have I never canned fruit with jalapenos before?! ...I have an inkling that mixing them with red currants would also go over amazingly...time to break out the canning jars and test out some new recipes! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  2. Does this thicken enough nicely without pectin? I think this is just the recipe I am looking for. Most are more like jelly and I am looking for something more like a jam or marmalade in consistency.

  3. It does! I think it's the perfect consistency. Jammy without being too thick like jelly :)