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Pear Jam with Dried Cranberries & Ginger

Prepare this Pear Jam, flavored with Dried Cranberries and the warm spices Ginger and Cinnamon, for your family to enjoy this holiday. This simple pear preserves recipe uses a water bath canner to make the jam shelf-stable but can also be frozen. It is perfect for gifting this holiday as well.

Raise your hand if you love homemade jam!

O.K., put them down.

Now, raise your hand if love to receive a jar of homemade jam!

Wow! That’s a lot of hands.

So, my scientific survey just proved my theory that there isn’t anyone who doesn’t love homemade jam!

There’s nothing for it but to get busy putting up some jars of jams!

If you are new to canning, this Pear Jam is a great recipe to start with. It’s a soft set jam that doesn’t require any pectin or special ingredients. You can find fresh pears and dried cranberries in your grocery store, along with either apple cider or cranberry juice. Grab a knob of ginger and some lemon juice and you are ready to go! (I’m assuming you have ground cinnamon at home!)

Ingredients for Pear Jam.

Supplies I Use for Canning Jams and Jellies:

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While canning isn’t hard, it does require a few pieces of equipment to make the task much easier:

  • Kilner Jam Pan (I’m not sure this pan is available anymore, but this one on Amazon looks very similar.) But any low-sided, wide stainless-steel saucepan that lets the jam cooks quickly will work. Avoid aluminum because the acid in the fruit will react with it and give a slightly metalic taste.
  • Wide Mouth Funnel
  • Weck Can Lifter or  Ball Can Lifter
  • Magnetic Lid Lifter
  • Headspace Gauge
  • I use both  Weck Jars and Ball Jars.
  • Sugar Thermometer (optional)
  • A bowl of vinegar and a clean rag to wipe the rims of the jars.
  • Lids and Screw Bands or Glass Lids and Gaskets for Weck.
  • A large stockpot with a canning rack, round metal trivet that fits in the pot or canning lids wired together to form a rack. I don’t have a special ‘boiling water canner’, I just use a stockpot with a trivet. You just don’t want your jars to sit on the bottom of the pot without something between them. I’ve seen some people use a kitchen towel on the bottom of the pot instead of a rack; I’ve never done it.
  • Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Jam pan, thermometer, and jar lifters.

The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is my bible. Even if I think I could make the recipe in my sleep, I double-check myself against the Ball Book…that whole botulism thing. If you are new to canning, it should be your very first purchase. My cookbook library inventory recently expanded with the addition of The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes!

Cranberry Pear Jam

A festive jam featuring pears and dried cranberries and a hint of ginger.
4.63 from 8 votes
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Canning Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Canning, Preserving, Jam + Jellies
Cuisine American
Servings 12 – 1/2 pint jars
Calories 56 kcal


  • 4 1.8 kg pounds fresh pears (feel free to experiment with different varieties of pears, I used Bartlett Pears.)
  • 1 1/2 cups 355 ml coarsely chopped dried cranberries (I used my food processor to coarsely chop the dried cranberries. Pulse it a few times until most are slightly chopped, but a few remained whole)
  • 1/2 cup 118 ml unsweetened apple juice or cranberry juice
  • 1/2 cup 118 ml lemon juice
  • 8 cups 1893 ml granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons 10 ml ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon 10 ml fresh grated ginger


  • Prepare canner, jars, and lids. Wash your jars and lids. Sterilize your jars in a large pot filled with water. Bring the water to almost a simmer over medium heat. Keep the jars in the simmering water until you are ready to fill them. Use a jar lifter to remove them from the water when you are ready to fill them, dumping the hot water back into the pot when you remove each jar from the water. Right before you are ready to can, put your lids in a small pot or bowl with hot, but not boiling water. Put some additional white vinegar in a small bowl, alongside a clean washcloth or paper towel. Keep the water in your canning pot at a simmer while you fill your jars. See The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving for additional guidance
  • Place a small plate in your freezer
  • Wash, peel, and core the pears. Either dice them or crush them. I used a potato masher to slightly crush the pears. You are not looking for a puree.
  • Measure out 3 cups (1500 ml) of crushed pears.
  • In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan or jam pan, combine pears, dried cranberries, apple juice, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and ginger.
  • Over medium-high heat, bring the pear mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down.
  • While your jam is cooking, prepare your work surfaceOn a clean cloth, lay out your jar lifter, bubble remover/lid lifter, funnel, bowl for lids in hot water, a bowl of vinegar, and clean cloth.
  • Once your jam is boiling, cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Decrease the heat if the jam starts to stick to the sides.
  • Test for doneness at the 10-minute mark.

To Test For Doneness

  • Put a small amount of jam on the cold plate and return it back to the freezer for 3-4 minutes.
  • If when you push it with your finger the jam wrinkles a bit it is done.
  • If it doesn't wrinkle, continue to cook checking for gel state every minute.
  • Alternately, you could use a sugar thermometer. Gel state is typically reached at 217° – 222°.
  • Once the gel state has been reached, skim off any foam and water bath process your jam.

To Water Bath Process

  • Ladle jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace (1/2" for Weck Jars)
  • Remove air bubbles and wipe rims with white vinegar.
  • Center lid on the top of the jar (or glass lid with a gasket if using Weck Jars)
  • Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.
  • Place jars in a canner or large stockpot, making sure they are completely covered with water by 2".
  • Cover the pot and bring to a boil
  • Boil for 10 minutes
  • After the 10-minutes processing time, turn the heat off, remove the lid and let sit for 5 minutes
  • Carefully remove jars with jar lifter and place them on a rack where they can be undisturbed for 24 hours.
  • Refrigerate any unsealed jars.


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Serving: 1TBCalories: 56kcal
Keyword canning, cranberry, Ginger, jam, pear
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So, what shall we do with these lovely jars of pear jam?

Well, as a purist, I think a dollop on a piece of crusty bread just can’t be beat. But, it is also delicious over a bowl of ice cream! Little chunks of pear and tart cranberries nicely balance creamy ice cream…or so I’ve heard! 😉

A jar of jam and jam on a piece of bread.

If you want more delicious recipes for easy-to-make jams, jellies, and assorted preserves, check these out.

I’m very partial to apricot jam, so this Apricot Jam with Thyme is way up on my very yummy list. It was also my daughter’s favorite jam until she had this Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. If you are brand new to canning, this simple plum jam is a great place to start. In fact, you can peruse all my canning and preserving recipes here.

Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer back to this Pear Jam recipe in the future.

jars of pear jam with fresh pears and fresh cranberries.
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4.63 from 8 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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