Cranberry & Sour Cherry Jam


We are starting the holiday season with a bang this year. Right now it’s snowing heavily and doesn’t plan to stop any time soon. We’ve been outside in the snow. We have a fire going. And we aren’t going anywhere anytime soon! Tomorrow we’ll have a small feast, just the three of us, and while we miss our families, there is something nice and quiet about this day that we spend with each other. I don’t get too riled up about cooking on Thanksgiving–it’s easy comforting fare, and when it’s this small there are very few worries. I do hope a similar day of comfort and thanks is headed your way!

Lately, I’ve been somewhat uninspired in the kitchen, wondering what to eat and whether it’s worth it. Cranberries provide some spark of hope for me. They are always fun–they seem to go so well with so much. This year I tried yet another new take on the ubiquitous sweet preserve on the Thanksgiving table. Good hoarder that I am, I had a bag of frozen tart cherries still in the freezer.  Let me tell you: tart cherries go smashingly with cranberries. I know it’s probably too late, and tart cherries are so precious to hoard, but one day give it a whirl.


1 cup pitted tart cherries (slightly frozen are always easier to pit)

1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)

1/2 cup sugar

Add all three ingredients in your jam pot, and bring to a nice foaming boil. Use the spoon test to check your consistency. It will boil down, become glossy, and all this will happen pretty quickly; about ten minutes. Pour it in a nice jar and stash it in the fridge for the main event.

Nothing more! I so wanted to add some booze or clementine juice, but I kept it simple and I’m glad I did. This will go incredibly with some juicy dark meat. It’s tart times two, and has the slightest bitter zing at the finish. The tart cherries really take center stage, which I was surprised by.

Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. Greylling is here demanding to be petted. Your segment is as usual very colorful and sounds delicious. You should make a book. Everyone makes a book, but yours would be really great.

  2. So sorry I didn’t hoard any cherries! Sounds delicious. I’ve been making red onion and cranberry marmalade, but it’s made with dried cranberries. Everyone loves it. I’d like to make it with fresh cranberries but don’t know how to convert the recipe to fresh cranberries. Any ideas? I love your website and especially the photos. Best, Pat (yes, that Pat)

    1. Pat, it is SO nice to hear from you! Thank you for the kind words!! Your marmalade sounds so good. I don’t have a clue about the switch from dried to fresh, although I would guess that you would have to adjust for sugar (dried cranberries usually have sugar in them) and water content. Breezy Hill usually has nice cranberries at the Rhinebeck Farmer’s Market, FYI. Let me know how it goes! I’ll bet you are gearing up for all your holiday baking right about now…Best wishes to you!!

  3. Happy Thanksgiving, Julia! Sounds like you had a relaxing and cozy celebration. I celebrated down here in Florida, and we built a fire in my mom’s fire bowl outside – it was 60 degrees, but we still felt it necessary to be as cozy as possible – ha! I could totally see the clementine juice addition. I’ll have to make this, once I get back home and regain my kitchen inspiration again (mine’s been missing, too!). PS – Your mom’s right about your writing a book! 😉

    1. Thank you Jayme! My mom lives in FL too, and they have been shivering with the “cold” so I understand the fire! So sweet that you get to spend some time there!

      I really don’t know what to do with myself during these down times. But I know it will be over soon enough. I think the end of the harvest always tuckers me out.

      And you are so sweet to agree with my mom! : )

  4. Funny… we typically have a quiet, two humans + one cat thanksgiving too. We didn’t this year, since we are close to Paul’s family now. I was really thankful for that, but I also found part of myself missing our little thanksgiving this year. I am most definitely missing sour cherries.

    1. So delicious! And look–you were able to comment!! (When I was on blogger I always had problems leaving a comment, so I know what you mean.)

  5. I have so many frozen local cranberries and frozen Door County tart cherries that this was a perfect recipe. We loved it as jam. Do you think I can water bath this recipe as to make 4 or 5 jars at a time? Thanks

    1. That’s great! I actually have both in my freezer too, and I think I will make some as well! Yes, absolutely, the acidity is so high, it will be fine. I think you could easily scale this up to use 4# of fruit with a successful set, though it might not be as firm as a small batch. Happy jamming!

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