Let’s start all over again. Thanksgivukkah = Thanksgiving + Chanukah / Hannukkah (or however you’d care to spell it.
In Monday’s post, I made you a Hot Mulled Wine, using kosher sweet wine (in this case, Manischewitz Blackberry) for the #ThanksgivukkahPotLuck.
Alright, so maybe you don’t want to serve hot wine to your guests, for whatever reason. But you’re still stuck with this bottle of kosher wine from Rosh Hashana, or even going all the way back to last Passover. I get it. This is the “Rodney Dangerfield” of wines. It don’t get no respect. It’s sort of a must-have for the Jewish holiday table, or maybe someone gave it to you as a gag, but no one wants to – gasp! – actually drink it.
To a canner, though, just about anything is potential jam. Which is then a potential holiday gift. Score!
Flamingo’s Holiday Cranberry Wine Jam
(Yields about 6-7 half-pint jars)
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups sugar (divided)
- 1 large or 2 small lemons, sliced thin
- 1 tsp. whole cloves
- 3-4 cinnamon sticks, broken up
- 1 large whole nutmeg, broken into several pieces
- 1 1.5 liter bottle sweet kosher wine (your choice of flavor – it really doesn’t matter)
- 1 12 oz bag of fresh/frozen cranberries
- 8 tsp. Pomona’s Universal Pectin + 9 tsp. calcium water (see Notes, below)
Place 2 small freezer-safe plates into your freezer. This is for gel-testing, later. Prepare your boiling water bath canning pot (can be a tall stock pot with a meat rack or even a pot holder on the bottom to keep the jars from sitting directly on the bottom of the pot. Guerilla small-batch canning!) by filling 2/3 with water and heating. I like to put the jars in now, and boil them along with the water.
In a large non-reactive pot (6-8 quart size), put the water and lemon slices. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and continue simmering for 10 minutes. Place the spices into a square of cheesecloth and tie into a pouch with a piece of kitchen twine, and add it to the pot of simmering lemons.
In a small bowl, mix the dry pectin powder with one cup of the sugar. Set aside.
Add the wine, cranberries, calcium water, and the remaining 2 cups of the sugar to the pot of lemon water. Bring the mixture up to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to make sure the sugar is dissolved. Continue boiling (reduce heat a bit if necessary to keep the pot from boiling over) until the cranberries are popped and softened, about 10 minutes.
Fish out the spice bag and what remains of the lemon slices. Sprinkle the sugar/pectin mixture into the boiling jam and stir vigorously to dissolve. Continue boiling rapidly for an additional 2 minutes, remove from heat, and perform gel test.
To test your jam’s gel, remove one of the plates from the freezer, place a small amount of the hot jam liquid (no more than a teaspoon) onto the plate and return it to the freezer. Set your kitchen timer to 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, remove the plate from the freezer and push the edge of the jam puddle with the tip of a spoon or even your finger. If it wrinkles, or slides in one piece, you’re ready to jar up.
Boil your jars in the canning pot for 10 minutes to sterilize. Reduce heat to low and add the jar lids to the pot. Remove the jars one by one, carefully pour out the water back into the pot, and fill the hot jars with the hot jam, leaving 1/4″ – 1/2″ headspace. Clean the rim of each jar with a damp paper towel. Place a heated lid onto each jar, then twist on the rings, finger-tight. Return the filled jars to the canning pot, raise the heat to high, and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the jars to a heat safe surface (spread out a kitchen towel on your counter), and allow to cool. You should hear a kind of a ping! sound as the lids get sucked in and the jars seal. When the jars are totally cooled, check the seals by pressing on the center of each lid. If it’s firm, Congratulations! You’ve got a great seal and you can now dress up the jars for gift-giving, or store in a cool, dark place (not your garage!) for up to a year. If after 24 hours, any of the lids flex, you do not have a good seal and should refrigerate those jars, and consume the jam within a month.
This is a whole-berry jam. If you prefer a berry-less jelly, simply strain the contents of the pot into a clean pot after the cranberries are fully cooked and before adding the pectin powder. Return the liquid to a rapid boil, add the pectin powder-sugar mixture, and proceed with the rest of the recipe.
This recipe may be halved.
Pomona’s Universal Pectin is a two-part product, consisting of a larger packet of pectin powder and a smaller packet of powdered calcium. Mix one-half teaspoon of the calcium powder with one-half cup of water to make “calcium water”. It is available at many stores, including Whole Foods, Wegman’s and others, as well as from my Amazon Store, or directly from the manufacturer. I use only Pomona’s Pectin in my jams and jellies, both for personal use and for my Freakin’ Flamingo products, because it is 100% pectin, with no fillers or added sugars, and is dependable for use in reduced-sugar recipes and recipes using various sugar substitutes. One product, multiple uses!
If you prefer not to preserve this jam, simply pour it into clean, sealable containers and refrigerate. You should consume it within a month.
If you prefer not to make this jam yourself, I will have six (count ‘em, six!) 8 oz jars available on the Freakin’ Flamingo website, by noon, today. This is a one-time, Thanksgivukkah offering! Sorry – Sold Out!
Use this jam as you would any cranberry sauce or relish. It’s delicious with turkey, on sandwiches, with cheeses, in salad dressings and more. The only limit is your imagination!