Kiss of Sunshine: Sweet-Tart Florida Cranberry Jam Recipe

The Sunshine State’s warmth isn’t just for sunbathers and beach enthusiasts. Nestled amidst the palm trees and citrus groves, a hidden sweetness lies – Florida cranberries. These late-season beauties, bursting with tartness and sunshine-kissed flavor, find their perfect partner in this easy-to-make cranberry jam. It’s a taste of Florida captured in every spoonful, ready to brighten your mornings and meals.

Cranberry Gems of the Sunshine State:

While you might picture cranberry bogs frosted with winter’s touch, Florida defies the norm. Our unique climate, with its abundance of sunshine and mild winters, allows us to nurture these vibrant berries well into the fall. Local cultivars like the “Sunshine” variety boast an extra punch of sweetness, perfectly balancing the tangy bite of their northern cousins. This recipe celebrates the bounty of Florida’s cranberry patches, capturing the essence of our state in every jar.

A Symphony of Sunshine and Tartness:

This jam is all about keeping it simple, letting the natural flavors shine. You’ll need just a few ingredients and a little simmering to weave your own culinary Florida sunshine:

  • 1 pound of plump Florida cranberries (give them a gentle squish!)
  • 3 juicy Florida oranges, squeezed and zested
  • 1 cup of sugar (granulated works best, but brown adds a hint of caramel)
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar (packed, for that extra depth)
  • 1/4 cup of water (just to get things going)
  • A pinch of sea salt (to enhance the flavors)
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds (optional, for a touch of texture)

Let the Sunshine Dance:

  1. Warm the Citrus Symphony: Combine the orange juice, zest, sugars, and water in a pot. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts and the mixture becomes fragrant. Imagine the aroma, a sunshine-kissed dance of citrus and warmth.
  2. Cranberry Splash: Add the squished cranberries, gently swirling them into the citrus blend. Crank up the heat a bit and let the mixture bubble away for about 45 minutes. You want the jam to thicken up, reaching a consistency that wrinkles and dances when nudged on a cold plate.
  3. Sweet Harmony: Let the jam cool slightly, then spoon it into clean jars and seal them tight. Let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours to set, like the sun sinking after a perfect Florida day. Or, pop it in the fridge for a faster chill.

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Beyond the Toast: A Taste of Florida Versatility:

This jam isn’t just for toast! It’s a flavor chameleon, ready to brighten up any dish. Try these twists on a classic:

  • Creamy Contrast: Spread it on crusty bread alongside creamy brie for a sweet-and-salty tango.
  • Figgy Fantasy: Top ricotta toasts with roasted figs and a dollop of jam for a sweet and savory surprise.
  • Tropical Twist: Use tangerines or grapefruit instead of oranges for a citrusy burst in your jam, evoking the vibrant flavors of Florida’s beaches.
  • Smoothie Sunshine: Swirl a spoonful into your morning smoothie for a tangy twist that will transport you to a Florida sunrise.

A Culinary Adventure on Every Spoon:

This Florida cranberry jam isn’t just a recipe; it’s an adventure. It’s the sweet sunshine of oranges, the tart tango of cranberries, and the warmth of Florida captured in a jar. Share it with friends and family, spread it on cheeseboards brimming with local treats, and use it to paint your culinary canvas with a taste of the Sunshine State. So, let the Florida sunshine in, one spoonful at a time!

Bonus Tips:

  • Look for firm, brightly colored cranberries with a slight give. Discard any soft or moldy ones.
  • Choose organic oranges for the freshest flavor and zest.
  • Add a teaspoon of grated ginger for a warming kick.
  • Experiment with different types of jams and jellies based on your preferred sweetness level.
  • Visit local farmer’s markets or u-pick farms to experience the joy of harvesting your own Florida cranberries.

Remember, the kitchen is your playground! Don’t be afraid to experiment and make this recipe your own. Let the magic of Florida’s sunshine guide your culinary journey and share the taste of happiness with every spoonful.

Kiss of Sunshine: Sweet-Tart Florida Cranberry Jam Recipe

Kiss of Sunshine: Sweet-Tart Florida Cranberry Jam Recipe

Dianna Agron
Escape to Florida sunshine with this simple cranberry jam recipe! Bursting with citrus & tart berries, it elevates breakfasts, sauces, & more
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Cooling Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • 1 pound of plump Florida cranberries give them a gentle squish!
  • 3 juicy Florida oranges squeezed and zested
  • 1 cup of sugar granulated works best, but brown adds a hint of caramel
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar packed, for that extra depth
  • 1/4 cup of water just to get things going
  • A pinch of sea salt to enhance the flavors
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds optional, for a touch of texture


  • Combine citrus and sugars: In a large saucepan, combine orange juice, zest, sugars, and water. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves.
  • Add cranberries: Gently add cranberries and swirl to coat. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer and thicken: Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until jam thickens.
  • Add chia seeds (optional): Stir in chia seeds and simmer 5 more minutes.
  • Cool and jar: Let jam cool slightly. Spoon into sterilized jars, seal tightly, and let set at room temperature for 24 hours (or refrigerate for faster setting).
Keyword cranberry jam recipe

Chef with experience in European cuisine and American Cuisine, who has a passion for making dishes that look good and taste good. known for creating original takes on tried-and-true dishes with high-quality, fresh ingredients.

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