Cranberry Pepper Jelly

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Tart cranberries and spicy peppers mingle in this sweet and spicy Cranberry Pepper Jelly. Everyone goes crazy for this spicy jam at the very first bite!

When I realized I had been buying cranberry pepper jam almost every time I was at the grocery store, I knew it was time to make my own version of this jam.

Cranberry Pepper Jam - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

I first tasted this jam with brie and fancy wafer crackers. Then I poured the jam over a simple block of cream cheese and served it with Ritz crackers. My kids went nuts over that.

Next, I spread this pepper jam on the Best Ever Ham Sandwich. When you layer this Cranberry Pepper Jam with creamy goat cheese, salty ham, and fresh arugula, it’s the sandwich that everyone is going to be talking about.

Cranberry Jalapeno Jam

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned an upcoming recipe that has been as highly anticipated as this recipe for pepper jam.

I mentioned that I would soon be sharing the recipe when I first shared that awesome ham sandwich recipe a few weeks ago. In the time since, I’ve received countless emails, messages, and snaps asking when I’ll be sharing the recipe for cranberry jalapeno jelly.

I’ll apologize now for the delay, because the recipe just wasn’t perfect until this version. And when I say it is perfect, I mean it. It is absolutely positively PERFECT now.

Side note: if you love sweet heat combinations and cranberries as much as we do, you definitely need to put this cranberry jalapeno dip on your must-try list too!

Cranberry Pepper Jam is everyone's favorite appetizer!

Spicy Jam

When you’re working with cranberries, I’ve found that it’s really easy to make a cranberry sauce. As evidenced by this classic homemade cranberry sauce and this spicy hot pepper cranberry sauce, we love our cranberry sauces.

However, for this jam, I wanted something more jelly-like than cranberry sauce, sweet with a solid hint of heat. This cranberry pepper jelly recipe delivers it all.

(If you’re looking for a little more heat in your jam, the finely minced jalapeno and serrano peppers in this recipe can be increased by an additional ½ cup without affecting the final result.)

If you haven’t yet tried a pepper jam recipe, you’re in for a real treat. That sweet heat combination is truly irresistible. This Habanero Peach Jam is another favorite here.

Cranberry Pepper Jam is sweet, spicy, and completely irresistible! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

This time of year, there’s no end to the cranberry recipes that we love. Lucky for me, I learned many years ago to buy as many fresh cranberries as possible each holiday season and toss the bags straight into the freezer.

This makes it possible to make the crazy popular Cranberry Christmas Cake and the Nantucket Christmas Cranberry Pie all year round. Cranberry Almond German Pancakes and Cranberry Pecan Brownies in July? Yes, please!

As soon as apple season hits, this Cranberry Apple Tart needs to happen as well. There are so many ways in which we use cranberries throughout the year. And this Winter Spice Cranberry Cake? It’s not just for wintertime

You’re going to love all of these recipes, so stock up on cranberries ASAP and be set for all of next year!

Cranberry Pepper Jam is my favorite food to gift!

Kitchen Tip: I use this pot, this pectin, these jars, and these jars when making this recipe.

Pepper Jam Recipe

  1. Combine the cranberries, bell peppers, jalapenos, serranos, and vinegar in a large deep pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. While the mixture comes to a boil, shake together the calcium water according to the package directions. In a small bowl, stir together 1 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of Pomona’s pectin.
  2. When the mixture on the stove is boiling, add the calcium water and sugar/pectin mixture. Stir and bring to a boil again. When the sugar and pectin have dissolved, about a minute of simmering, add in the remaining 5 cups of sugar all at once. Stir to combine and bring to a roiling boil. (A rolling boil will continue to boil across the entire surface even while stirring.)
  3. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute and then remove from the heat. Remove from the heat and pour into sterile jars. Process in a hot water bath and then store in a cool dark place for up to a year. Alternatively, this jam may be stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. The jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month or alternatively, you can freeze it for up to 6 months.
Cranberry Pepper Jam is the appetizer I want on every cheeseboard!

Why I Use Pomona’s Universal Pectin

You may notice two unusual additions to this recipe; calcium water and Pomona’s Universal Pectin. The calcium water comes in the box along with the Pomona’s, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing them separately.

Because I feel rather strongly about how spectacular Pomona’s pectin is among all others, I’m going to give you a somewhat detailed explanation of why it is that I am recommending this particular pectin product.

Pomona’s Universal Pectin, unlike most other commercial counterparts, does not contain any weird preservatives or fillers. Pomona’s, unlike most other commercial pectins, allows you creative license to scale up or down any recipe to your heart’s content. If you scale up other pectins, the jams or preserves almost inevitably fail.

Cranberry Hot Pepper Jam is an EASY appetizer that everyone loves!

Pomona’s also allows you to make low/no sugar jams, jellies, and preserves with the same product should you wish to do so. If you want to use a grocery store pectin, you’ll need to buy a separate, specialized kind of pectin for that.

Pomona’s lasts forever and has no expiration date as long as it is properly stored.

Pomona’s may seem more expensive if you just compare the box vs. box prices, but with the Pomona’s you can make between 3 and 5 batches of your favorite jam and with the major brand pectin, you get one batch per box. That makes Pomona’s comparable in all cases and cheaper in most.

*huge thanks to Rebecca Lindamood for her extensive help while developing recipes using Pomona’s and her willingness to share that knowledge so freely. Notes on the use of Pomona’s are very lightly adapted from her words here.

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Cranberry Pepper Jam - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Cranberry Pepper Jelly

4.75 from 36 votes
Cranberry Pepper Jelly is sweet, spicy, and absolutely irresistible. Everyone goes crazy for this spicy jam at the very first bite!
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 112 about 3 ½ pints (or approx 112 tablespoons)

Ingredients 

  • cups fresh cranberries roughly chopped
  • cups red bell pepper finely chopped, about 1½ peppers worth
  • 2 large jalapeno peppers finely minced, about ⅔ cup worth
  • 2 serrano peppers finely minced, about ⅓ cup worth
  • 2 cups plain white vinegar
  • 6 cups sugar divided
  • 1 tablespoon Pomona’s Universal Pectin *
  • 4 teaspoons calcium water *

Instructions

  • Combine the cranberries, bell peppers, jalapenos, serranos, and vinegar in a large deep pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. While the mixture comes to a boil, shake together the calcium water according to the package directions. In a small bowl, stir together 1 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of Pomona’s pectin.
  • When the mixture on the stove is boiling, add the calcium water and sugar/pectin mixture. Stir and bring to a boil again. When the sugar and pectin have dissolved, about a minute of simmering, add in the remaining 5 cups of sugar all at once. Stir to combine and bring to a roiling boil. (A roiling boil will continue to boil across the entire surface even while stirring.)
  • Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute and then remove from the heat. Remove from the heat and pour into sterile jars. Process in a hot water bath and then store in a cool dark place for up to a year. Alternatively, this jam may be stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. The jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month or alternatively, you can freeze it for up to 6 months. Enjoy!

Notes

You’ll notice two unusual additions to the recipe; calcium water and Pomona’s Universal Pectin. The calcium water comes in the box along with the Pomona’s, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing them separately. I’ve explained in the body of this post why it is that I am highly recommending this particular pectin product. 

Nutrition

Calories: 42kcal · Carbohydrates: 11g · Potassium: 5mg · Sugar: 10g · Vitamin A: 65IU · Vitamin C: 2.8mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 11/1/2017 – recipe notes and photos updated 11/28/22}

You're going to LOVE this Cranberry Hot Pepper Jam!
Sweet 'n Spicy Cranberry Pepper Jam is completely irresistible! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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    • Mary Younkin says

      I have not tried it with less sugar, Michele. If you decrease the sugar it will affect the results for sure, jams and jellies are finicky like that. You will need to adjust your pectin and other ingredients as well.

  1. Johnnie M Kyzer says

    I made this about a month ago, making another batch for gifts at a friend’s group Christmas party, it’s wonderful!
    Going to use some as a glaze for ribs or fish

  2. Tom Roberts says

    I made the cranberry pie and I buttered the pie pan real good. It stuck to the edge and I don’t know what I did wrong. The pie pan was glass 91/2 inch deep dish. What came out was very good can you help me and try to tell me what I did wrong?

  3. Carolyn says

    Many recipes use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar in jellies and jams. Is there’s difference in taste or way it sets up? Does white vinegar have a stronger taste ? Have all the ingredients and plan to make this week for gifts.

    • Mary Younkin says

      The vinegar is for acidity. I know you can use white or apple cider. I am not sure of the complexities of the differences but I will say white vinegar is a more neutral flavor in jams and jellies.