Spiced Cranberry Jelly 1.500

James M. Thresher for The Washington Post; Tableware from Crate and Barrel

Nov 18, 2009

This is tart, refined and softly textured when at room temperature. It is made with less sugar than the original recipe, in the 13th edition of "The Fannie Farmer Cookbook," thanks in part to the substitution of agave nectar. The recipe doubles easily.

Make Ahead: The jelly can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Servings: 1.5 cups
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries, stemmed and rinsed
  • 2-inch cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3 whole dried allspice berries (may substitute dried juniper berries)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • Pinch salt


Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the cranberries, cinnamon stick, cloves and allspice berries; cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the berries have burst. The mixture will be thick. Remove from the heat; mash any remaining berries that might not have burst.

Strain through a fine-mesh or small-holed strainer, pushing the thick mixture through. Discard the solids.

Return the strained berry sauce to the saucepan over medium-low heat; when heated through, add the sugar, agave nectar and salt, stirring to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Transfer to a container; when cooled to room temperature, cover and refrigerate until well chilled.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Fannie Farmer Cookbook," by Marion Cunningham (13th Edition, Knopf, 1990).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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Email questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.