We’re getting so close to Christmas! Have you gotten all of your shopping done yet? Do you know what you’re giving every single person? If not, I have a suggestion- Amish Christmas jam.
Before I say anything else, let me say this: this jam, when cooking, smells like the realistic, better, fresher version of a Christmas candle. You know, those candles that are called, like, “Home for the Holidays” or “Christmas berry wreath.” The scent of sweetness, cranberry, orange, and cinnamon… mixed with something else. Something sweet, juicy and berry-like. You know what that is?
Yep. Strawberry. Wait, what’s that? Everyone’s favorite spring berry, making an appearance in this Christmas jam? Yes! And you wouldn’t believe how good it smells!
There are a lot of variations of Amish Christmas jam. Some have raspberries and blackberries with cranberries. Some have strawberries, like this one. Some even have pineapple or regular apples. I don’t know the origins of it, or if it’s really an Amish thing (I mean, beyond the fact it’s always being sold at Amish country gift shops), but it certainly is delicious.
This particular recipe is low-sugar. The entire thing only requires 2 cups of it! Most Amish Christmas jam recipes require twice as much (or more). In this recipe, the fruit itself takes center stage. However, because it’s low-sugar, it uses Pomona’s Pectin, which is a two-step pectin specifically used in low/no-sugar canning recipes that can be intimidating to some people. Don’t be intimidated! It’s very, very easy.
And I would even venture to say a canning newbie could make this recipe very easily.
- 3 cups whole cranberries (yes, you can use frozen)
- 1 orange; peeled, seeded, and sections separated
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest, from the above orange
- 2 cups frozen, slightly thawed, sliced strawberries
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- a pinch of ground mace (*OPTIONAL)
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons calcium water
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder
- Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan; cover and heat to a low boil. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.
- Rinse cranberries and combine cranberries and orange sections in a large saucepan. Add strawberries, orange zest, cloves, and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat until cranberries are beginning to pop. Add 1 cup sugar.
- Cook mixture for 2 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly. Add calcium water, and mix well.
- Measure the other 1 cup sugar into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sugar. Set aside. Bring fruit mixture to a full boil. Add pectin-sugar mixture, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin. Stir well and return to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat. Skim off any foam.
- Fill hot jars to 1/4” of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals; lids should be sucked down. Will keep (sealed) for one year, any opened (or unsealed) jars will be good for 3 weeks.
Jay loves any and everything Amish, but sadly he doesn’t like cranberries or strawberries, so he won’t touch this. But boy, does it make a terrific Christmas gift! Or just a little stocking stuffer. Or hostess gift. Or a gift for a teacher or mail person or delivery man. It’s so easy to make, and one batch makes between 4-5 half-pints (8 oz.) of jam. While I would NOT double the recipe, you can make two batches in no time at all.
When you label it up all cute, it makes it even more special. I used cupcake liners and cupcake toppers with the sticks broken off to decorate them. Then I just cut some strips of white paper and glued it on and wrote on it what was in the jar. I finished them off with cinnamon sticks and bakers twine. Cute, right?
And by the way- you don’t have to celebrate Christmas to enjoy this jam.