A Spiced Winter Cranberry Conserve Recipe with warming Brandy, Cinnamon, Ginger, and Cardamom. When thinking about cranberry conserve, think cranberry jam recipe with a thicker, chunkier texture….either way, a perfect excuse for canning cranberries and a wonderful winter jam recipe or to enjoy year-round!
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. Canning cranberries and winter jam recipes always say to me “winter is coming”
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 winter cranberry jam recipe that would be thick and chunky and ‘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.
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 thick, chunky jams with additional dried fruits and nuts tossed in.
Pop on over here for a complete discussion on Jam Making Basics. This Jam Making Basics post discusses the basic ingredients for all jellied fruit and why they are important, basic equipment, and the differences between Jam, Jelly, Preserves, Conserves, and Marmalade.
So back to my splendid Spiced Cranberry Conserve recipe…it’s everything I had hoped it would be and then some – a thick chunky cranberry jam a perfect use for canning cranberries. 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. These winter jam recipes pair so well as amazing appetizers for your holiday gatherings!
Tangy dried apricots and walnuts also add to the texture and flavor of this Spiced Cranberry Conserve recipe as well.
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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!
Here are the jars I used, but mine have the black lids. I don’t see that they sell the black lids anymore!
This recipe assumes some knowledge of proper and safe canning techniques. Please see the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving for guidance.
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So while I made this recipe with a wedge of Camembert in mind, it truly is a versatile condiment:
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