Cranberry {Vanilla Bean} Jam

There is nothing like the taste of homemade jam, somehow it's simply better and fresher tasting.  In fact, I may be slightly obsessed with this jam of late.  I have literally been putting it on everything from breakfast toast to turkey sandwiches.  Sweetened by maple syrup and full of antioxidant loaded cranberries this recipe isn't just jam, it's super jam.

Cranberry {Vanilla Bean} Jam
7 oz. Fresh Cranberries 
1 Pear, pealed and cubed
1/2 cup Water
Juice from 1 (medium) Mandarin or Clementine Orange
1 Vanilla Bean
1/2 cup pure Maple Syrup
1/8 tsp Nutmeg

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat (fresh cranberries pop and hiss when they start to cook).  Reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid (allow a small gap for some of the steam to escape).  Simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove the vanilla bean.  Using a potato masher or large spoon mash the mixture until you reach a jam like consistency.  I like the jam a little chunky but if you prefer a smooth textured jam puree it in a food processor or blender instead of hand mashing.  Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to two weeks or store in the freezer for up to three months.  Makes about about two 8 oz. jars of jam.


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