A freshly baked, buttery croissant with homemade jam… that’s what we treat ourselves to for a weekend breakfast. YUM! Making your own jam is not that difficult and it allows you to play with ingredients. I mainly make jam in the summer when fresh fruits are widely available, but I do cheat sometimes and use frozen fruits. That’s what I did for this Winter Jam: I added frozen blueberries.
Berries & Berries
Maybe you’ve seen the Cranberry Christmas Jam recipe here on the website? It’s a recipe that I made a few years ago. I still like it a lot, but I wanted to add a little more berry flavour and that’s why I experimented with adding blueberries last year. Cranberries are, of course, very seasonal and almost synonymous with the holiday season, but they don’t add a lot of taste. Without a decent amount of sugar, they’re just sour.
I like my jam to be less sweet and that is why I use only half of the usual amount of sugar in my jam recipes. Traditional jam contains an equal amount of sugar and fruit. Sugar is the main preservative in jam and it, of course, makes that jam is sweet. You can go with half the amount of sugar though. It just means that your homemade jam is best eaten within six months. If you make small batches that shouldn’t be a problem!
As I mentioned, I made experimented with this jam recipe last year and I mentioned the list of ingredients in a Christmas blog post. I decided to give the Winter Jam its own dedicated page here on the blog since I personally really like this one! That also gave me the chance to change a few small things and make this 2020 version even better!
This year’s version is even more Christmassy because of the glühwein (or mulled wine) that I used instead of regular red wine (which is also fine). Of course, the cinnamon and clementine definitely help to make this jam taste very seasonal. But I have to admit that I like to eat this jam all winter, hence the name Winter Jam!
There are not a lot of preparations that you need to do, but you do have to make sure that you have clean and sterilised jars and lids ready to use when you finally cook your jam. You can use different methods to prepare your jars and I wrote about my method in another blog post.
- 8 clean and sterilised jars with a lid
- 350 g fresh cranberries rinsed
- 750 g blueberries fresh or frozen
- 500 g sweet apples grated
- 3 clementines zest and juice
- 750 ml glühwein or mulled wine
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 500 g jam sugar see notes
- Put the cranberries, blueberries, grated apple and clementine juice in a pan, cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Cook until the cranberries start to break down and release their juices. Remove from the stove and leave to cool down to room temperature.
- Optional: at this point, you can use a stick blender to further break down the cranberries if you like. I personally like a few lumps in my jam, but some prefer it to be smooth.
- Add the glühwein, clementine zest, cinnamon and jam sugar to the pan and stir to combine the ingredients. Make sure the sugar is dissolved completely. Cover and put in a cool place overnight.
- Prepare your jars and lids by cleaning and sterilising them just before cooking your jam.
- On the next day, cook your jam according to the instructions on the package of the jam sugar.
- When still hot, fill the jam into the prepared jars, close immediately and put the jars upside down for at least 10 minutes.
- Basically, jam sugar is regular sugar with added pectin. It’s the pectin that thickens the jam. Pectin is naturally present in most fruits (especially apples). When making jam, I like to use jam sugar that is less sweet. Regular jam sugar uses a ratio of 1:1 meaning that the amounts of fruit and sugar are equal. The sugar that I like to use requires a 2:1 ratio: the amount of fruit you use is twice the amount of sugar that you use. Cooking times vary as well. Therefore check the instructions on your jam sugar before you start!
- Alternatively, you can use regular sugar and add pectin separately. Just check the instructions on the package.
- By nature, both cranberries and apples have a large amount of pectin. Therefore, I have added extra liquids (wine) to make sure that the jam won’t be too thick.
- If you don’t have glühwein or mulled wine than regular red wine is fine too.
- When using sterilised jars, you can keep your jam for about six months in a dry and cool place.
DIY Christmas Gifts
A jar of Winter Jam is a great DIY Christmas gift! I’ve made a large batch recently and gifted some to friends and family along with some homemade granola, cookies or sugar-created almonds. Just put on a nice label or add a tag to the jar: it’s so easy to make homemade presents!
Do you need some more inspiration for homemade Christmas gifts? You can find a few ideas here on the website! How about these recipes:
Or maybe some quick and easy crochet gifts?