how to make cranberry jelly

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How to make easy cranberry jelly

This is a very easy recipe for cranberry jelly that will have you making it yourself from here on out. It’s also the first time I’ve ever made it because Cranberry jelly is not a big thing in South Africa other than at Christmas when we add a dollop with our turkey.

Frozen cranberries to make cranberry jelly

Having made it now and tasted how delicious it is, I’m going to be finding a few creative ways to use it up in the next while. Or, I could simply store my jar until Neeext Christmas, because I have preserved it according to the tried and tested Ball Jar water-bath preserving method, so its good to go for a year in my cupboard.

Frozen cranberries to make cranberry jelly

Fresh cranberries are not available in South Africa but you can find frozen berries in mainstream supermarkets and they work just as well for this recipe. You could also play around with adding a few flavours like orange peel, cinnamon, cloves and star anise, but here I have followed the recipe for Cranberry jelly from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. I love the slightly tart taste of cranberries so I’m thinking this will be fantastic slathered onto toast with cream cheese.

How to make easy cranberry jelly

This is a 3-step process to make the jelly/ preserve so there is no excuse not to give it a bash. The recipe yielded about 3 cups, so this is perfect to use the smaller Ball Jars and give them away as gifts.

How to make easy cranberry jelly

How to make easy cranberry jelly

How to make easy cranberry jellyHow to make easy cranberry jelly

How to make easy cranberry jelly

How to make easy cranberry jelly

How to make easy cranberry jelly

Recipe – makes 3 cups

  • 4 1/4 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 2 cups of sugar

Combine cranberries and water in a large pot and bring to the boil. When the skins burst, blend them with a hand-held stick blender or in a food processor until smooth. Return them to the pot and add the sugar.

PREPARE your stockpot by filling it with water and bringing it to the boil. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

Boil the cranberry sauce to almost gelling point (118 F or 105 C) and then ladle into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.

PROCESS jars in boiling water (stockpot) for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude (the water should cover the lids in the stockpot by about 2 cm). Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. The lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

How to make easy cranberry jelly

* Disclaimer ~ this post has been sponsored by Ball Jars





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  1. Tayla Calcott says:

    Those measuring cups are beautiful!?

  2. Looks good and so festive ! You are a master at this preserving and canning 🙂 . It seems so easy, I just have to do it !!!!

  3. Hi Lynne, Im really loving it so much. I know have a pantry filled with jars of delicious preserves for gifts or to use as I go. Ive mande my 3rd batch of salsa and loving htat with corn chips (and drinks).

  4. Beautiful light, beautiful photos, beautiful cranberry jelly. Also an ace at preserving, have done it since I was a young woman but have never done the waterbath method. It interests me. Enjoy Sam xx

  5. Thanks Colleen, yes its so much fun. I love doing it properly now and feel secure that my preserves are thoroughly sealed adn will last a year.

  6. Tricky to find cranberries (fresh or frozen) in our part of the Eastern Cape. I have a wonderful relish recipe given to me by a British friend who I met in the UAE. We had no problem getting cranberries there – just had to ignore the carbon footprint of each morsel of flavour!
    I have tried making that relish with tinned cranberries which did work – but first prize would be to find them fresh.

  7. I grew up just a few miles from the Ball factory in Muncie, Indiana, USA. In fact, both of my Bachelor’s degrees are from Ball State University. This looks like a lovely recipe, and yes, you can certainly trust Ball’s tried and true instructions. I’ve been using them since my childhood, as did my parents, and their parents.

  8. HI Anni, of wow there is a Ball State University! Glad you give the recipes a thumbs up too.

  9. Lucy Kiss says:

    Works just as well using dried cranberries. In place of sugar I use Stevia, but add it last 2-3 minutes of simmer because cranberries are naturally sweet.

  10. Thanks for the feedback Lucy and glad it worked out with the stevia

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