Friday, November 19, 2021

From Grandma's Kitchen - Cranberry Jalapeño Jam

In the childhood memories of every good cook, there's a small kitchen, 
a warm stove, a simmering pot, and a Grandma!

Today I'm sharing a recipe that I made this week and quickly decided will become a regular staple in our pantry! I made four 1/2 pint jars, but I love this recipe so much that I'm planning to make several more over the next few weeks.  For me personally, the only thing I will be doing differently is not de-seeding all of the jalapeños, and adding more. This jam is sweet with a just a hint of jalapeño, so probably perfect for most people, but this Texas girl wants just a little more kick!  

This would make a wonderful appetizer for your holiday gatherings. Served over cream cheese with crackers (Whole Wheat Wheat Thins are my personal favorite), it makes a lovely presentation and is so good! I love this recipe so much I had it for lunch yesterday! I'm including the original recipe as well as my proposed modifications if you would like a bit more heat! Once I make my second batch, I'll let you know how it turned out!

3 cups whole fresh cranberries (12oz. bag)
4 Jalapeños seeded and chopped (or 6 and only de-seed half for more heat)
1 lime, juiced
1 Tablespoon of Lime Zest
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 package powdered pectin*
2 cups sugar

Prepare your jars, 4 (1/2 pint) jelly jars with lids, by placing them in boiling water. Allow to simmer for at least 10 minutes while making jam.

Add cranberries, jalapeños, lime juice apple cider vinegar, and water in a medium saucepan  and bring to a boil, continuing to boil until the cranberries pop. Once they begin to pop, crush them with a potato masher.

Add pectin and bring to rolling boil*

Add sugar and bring back to a full rolling boil, and boil for 2 minutes then remove from heat.

Ladle into prepared jars jars

Wipe jar rims and cover with two-piece lids. 

Process jars in a hot water bath in canner pot for 10 minutes. 

Remove jars and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, check seals.
To serve, spoon jelly over an 8oz block of cream cheese and serve with your choice of crackers.

*I came across a recipe for jam, handed down to me from my paternal grandmother, and discovered that she never used pectin in her in her jam and jelly recipes. In her instructions she noted, "Never use pectin, take your time and wait until it looks "jammy". After a bit of research I discovered that she was not alone, and pectin, which acts as a thickener, isn't necessary. As my grandmother noted, the key to not using pectin, is time. The fruit and sugar need plenty of time to cook and thicken. Fruit varies in water content, so some recipes will take longer than others, but they do, indeed, start looking "jammy".  For now, I'm following Grandma's lead. If it worked for her, it should work for me, and so far it appears to be working fine. :)

Please note, all recipes previously labeled, Come To The Table, are now identified
under the heading, From Grandma's Kitchen.  Direct links to the four most recent recipes 
can be found in the right side bar where you will also find a link to take you to 
the previously posted recipes.  After the first of the year I'll be working on a recipe database
for ease of access in the future

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