Cranberry jam with mead

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” James Beard

A year and a half ago I was on vacation with my friends in Southern Spain. One of the best gourmet food induced vacations. Food we ate was beyond good and we ate out most of the time. There are so many nice little restaurants around and everything they make is so delicious! But it can’t be any other way, when you have all those unbelievable ingredients available all the time (I almost cried at the fishmonger’s, when I saw the selection). When we were not eating out, we just cooked gorgeous seafood ourselves and indulged in freshly baked croissants for breakfast from a local bakery. Oh and also had amazing desserts from the same bakery (sigh..). I swear I would have had to go on a strict diet for a few weeks back home if it weren’t for running off all those amazing dinners (and breakfasts, and lunches) during vacation.

One of those mornings, my friend’s husband woke up early to get the croissants for  breakfast. He also got a jar of cranberry jam with rum. Let me tell you – I couldn’t get it off my mind. It was so good!

Last year I actually forgot about it at the time when I was getting my fresh picked cranberries in the market and didn’t get enough to play around with. This year I made sure I had plenty to go ahead and experiment with my jam. It worked!


  • 1 litre fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 200 ml mead (or rum)
  • 4 teaspoons agar agar

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Place cranberries in a pot, pour over sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer. Halve the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add the shell of the pod to cranberries as well – it will be scooped out once the jam is done cooking. Simmer over low heat for 50 minutes. Pour in the alcohol, increase the heat and let it boil for another 10 minutes, until alcohol evaporates.

Scoop out vanilla pods, add agar agar and blend. Let it cool, pour in jars and store in a fridge.

I tried it. It’s gorgeous! Got some fresh croissants for breakfast tomorrow morning and so looking forward to having it with a cup of espresso.

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 Bon appétit!


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