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Spiced Winter Cranberry Conserve Recipe

A Spiced Winter Cranberry Conserve Recipe with warming Brandy, Cinnamon, Ginger and Cardamom.

I just can’t help it.

When the days start becoming shorter and a wee bit cooler, I want to embrace all things fall and winter. I spend much more time in my kitchen ‘nesting’ for the months and holidays ahead. This month I have canned many quarts of chicken stock and bone broth and have plans to use them in some soups that I’ll be canning as well.

I’ve also started putting up some sweeter preserves for our own use and to give as gifts.Prepare your jars of Spiced Winter Cranberry Conserve so you'll be ready for the holidays.

6-ounce Hexagon Jars with Lids

Since last Christmas I have been mulling (see what I did there? I used ‘Christmas’ and ‘mulling’ in the same sentence…in October!) an idea for a Conserve that would ‘taste like the holidays’ redolent with warming spices like crushed cardamom, ginger and cinnamon and a splash of brandy.  This delicious Spiced Winter Cranberry Conserve Recipe is the result of that mulling.Crushed Cardamom is one of the warming spices in Spiced Winter Cranberry Conserve.

Before we get too far down the track, let’s just back up and spend a quick minute discussing some the varieties of sweet preserves out there:

Of course, you have your Jams and Jellies…these two start out very similarly but jellies are made by straining the liquid thereby removing any fruit bits while jams embrace the fruit bits. Jellies are typically clear and firmer in texture than jams

Preserves are like jams, but even chunkier.  Where you might crush your fruit in a jam, you would have larger pieces in a preserve and it might be even looser than a jam.

Marmalades are typically jams made with the rinds of citrus fruit

Conserves are basically jams with additional dried fruits and nuts tossed in.Apples, Dried Apricots and Walnut combine with Cranberries, Spices and Brandy for the perfect Spiced Winter Cranberry conserve.

So back to my splendid Spiced Cranberry Conserve…it’s everything I had hoped it would be and then some. It took me a couple of attempts to get the texture I wanted; I was looking for something a little loose that would drip over the side of a wedge of Brie or a round of Camembert (are you drooling yet?)  If you are familiar with cranberry relish, this conserve is along the same lines…but maybe a bit softer.

Top a wedge of Brie or a round of Camembert with this Spiced Winter Cranberry Conserve for a delicious holiday appetizer.

Tangy dried apricots and walnuts also add to the texture and flavor of this Spiced Cranberry Conserve as well.Winter Cranberry Conserve is the perfect gift and treat for Christmas.

Crochet Edged Linen Napkins Tutorial

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If you are new to canning, I highly recommend The Ball Book of Canning and Preserving. I’ve been canning for years and I still refer to it regularly to make sure I am canning safely.  A basic canning kit is also very handy. I am not a collector of unnecessary tools and the tools in these kits are really very necessary for canning. You’d have a hard time pouring the jam neatly into the jars and lifting the jars out of boiling water without some of the tools in a canning kit.

Here are the jars I used, but mine have the black lids. I don’t see that they sell the black lids anymore!

Winter Spiced Cranberry Conserve

Winter Spiced Cranberry Conserve

Yield: 5 1/2 pint jars
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Canning Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

A Cranberry Conserve perfect for winter with spices, apricots and nuts


  • 4 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 TBS crushed cardamom pods, tied up in a cheesecloth or put in a tea strainer
  • 4-5 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 apple, I used a Granny Smith
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, diced
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 TB brandy


  1. Prepare canner, jars and lids. See The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving for guidance
  2. Place a saucer in your freezer
  3. In a large preserving pot or deep, stainless steel saucepan combine cranberries, orange juice, water, cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil and then simmer at the lowest temperature, covered, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients or about 10 minutes.
  4. Chop apples, nuts and apricots into small dice
  5. Add sugar, return to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until mixture thickens...about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add diced apples, nuts and apricots to conserve and cook, stirring constantly for about 5 more minutes 
  7. Remove from heat and gel test by placing a small amount of the jam on the plate. Put plate back in freezer for 1 minutes. If when you push it with your finger it wrinkles a bit it is done.
  8. If gel state has been reached, skim off any foam and stir in brandy and ground ginger.
  9. Spoon your jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
  10. Remove air bubbles and wipe rim with white vinegar.
  11. Center lid on jar
  12. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.
  13. Place jars in canner, making sure they are completely covered with water by at least one inch.
  14. Cover pot and bring to a boil
  15. Boil for 15 minutes
  16. Turn heat off, remove lid and let sit for 5 minutes
  17. Carefully remove jars with jar lifter and place on a rack where they can be undisturbed for 24 hours.
  18. Refrigerate any jars if their lids don't pop down.


This recipe assumes some knowledge of proper and safe canning techniques. Please see the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving for guidance.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 ounces Serving Size: 1 ounce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172 Total Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 2mg Carbohydrates: 40g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 36g Protein: 1g
Spiced Winter Cranberry Conserve on Brie

Spiced Winter Cranberry Conserve is the makes the perfect appetizer with Brie or Camembert...or any other cheese!


So while I made this recipe with a wedge of Camembert in mind, it truly is a versatile condiment:

  • We recently made Cubano sandwiches, but instead of mustard and pickle, I put a dollop of this Winter Cranberry Conserve on my sandwich with roast pork, ham and swiss cheese. DE…LISH!
  • My son smears it on his biscuits.
  • It will be delicious with turkey and pork.
  • I can’t wait to use it on a meat and cheese tray.
  • These lovely jars of winter deliciousness also make wonderful gifts at the holidays.

Winter Cranberry Conserve is the perfect gift

Spiced Winter Cranberry Conserve Recipe; top your Brie or Camembert for a perfect appetizer, add it to your favorite sandwich, dollop it on your biscuit. This lovely canned conserve tastes like winter and Christmas with its warming brandy, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom and makes a perfect gift.


You might also like these canning, preserves and jam recipes: 

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Until next time…



  1. Margot

    October 13, 2017 at 10:40 am

    I love the jars you used – simple lines yet special. Where did you get them?

    • lynn

      October 13, 2017 at 11:02 am

      Happy Friday my Friend! Hope it is a good day where you are!

      I do love those jars too. And not for nothing, I don’t think I have ever had one that didn’t seal after I processed them in a water bath!

      Here’s where I get them:


      I use the 6 oz for my jams/jellies/preserves…the perfect gift size.

      I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

      Hugs, Lynn

  2. Florence @ VintageSouthernPicks

    October 16, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    Glad you explained what a “conserve” is b/c I was wondering. I’ve heard of it & figured it was something to do with jellies. This looks so good, and I’m sure it’s delicious served up with brie! I’m like you…I’m a little more interested in staying in & doing a spot of cooking during Fall. I’m not a cook, but some things I do.

    • lynn

      October 18, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      Florence, it is DIVINE served with Brie! In fact, taking it out of town with me this weekend to share at our tailgate!

      Thanks for visiting my friend.

      Hugs, Lynn

  3. yuni

    October 17, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    oh yum!! this would be perfect on brie!

    • lynn

      October 18, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      Yuni, It is OUTSTANDING on brie…you must try it.

  4. Erin

    November 12, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    This looks wonderful. Just wondering if instead of canning (which I have never done) could this be frozen in containers instead. I am thinking of making this to serve with pork tenderloin. Will try immediately.

    • lynn

      November 12, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Hi Erin! Oh my, it will be so good with your pork tenderloin. I would imagine it would be fine in the freezer. I made mine a month ago and have had a little bit in the fridge since then…just finished it up this weekend. I do believe you will love it…I can eat it by the spoonful!

      Many hugs, Lynn

      • Erin

        November 12, 2017 at 7:09 pm

        Made it today…and my husband ate it by the spoonful!! Thanks so much.

        • lynn

          November 13, 2017 at 12:54 pm

          I am so very glad Erin! Does my heart good to know that you all loved it as much as we do. Have a wonderful day my friend.

          Hugs, Lynn

  5. Chris H

    November 18, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    What font did you use for your conserve labels? I love it! Pls. let me know 🙂

    • lynn

      November 19, 2017 at 7:06 am

      Good Morning Chris! I hope you are well.

      The font I used for the Winter Cranberry Conserve label is Vellesa Script. I either got it at Fonts.com or daFont.com, but I know I didn’t pay for it…it was a free font.

      Hope this helps. Have a great day my friend.

      Hugs, Lynn

  6. Claudia Carlin

    December 4, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Dear Lynn,
    Oh my gosh, this i s one of the best conserves I have ever made, many thanks to you. To tell you the truth, I made this with Splenda and it worked perfectly. I have many diabetics in my life and am so happy you made this recipe available. This is perfect!

    • lynn

      December 5, 2017 at 6:38 am

      Oh Claudia, I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed it so and that the Splenda worked well in this conserve. It is one of my family’s favorites as well…the truth is we eat it by the spoonful!

      Wishing you a wonderful day today my friend.

      Hugs, Lynn

  7. Janet Morel

    September 5, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Can this item be frozen?

    • lynn

      September 5, 2018 at 3:22 pm

      Hi Janet, while I haven’t frozen it, I don’t see why not. Just make sure you leave plenty of room for expansion! Think you would need more than the 1/4″ in the recipe.

      If you get a chance, pop back in and let me know how the conserve did in the freezer.

      Have a great day my friend.

      Hugs, Lynn


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