Cranberry Orange Jelly

I receive bottled fruit juice often from my local food bank. Recently they were distributing a large bottles of pure orange juice that required no refrigeration until opened.  This juice is very tart and needs to have sugar added to it to drink.  It dawned on me that it would make great jelly.  I also had several bottles of cranberry juice too.  So with a little research I discovered that Sure Jell had a fruit pectin for making low sugar jellies and jams.  This was perfect.  I bought a box and read the directions.  Nothing had changed from the last time I had used Sure Jell. You still followed the same steps and techniques except for the amount of sugar.

This low sugar jelly will weep as it sets up.  By that I mean it will have a small amount of liquid floating around the top when you open it up. There is nothing wrong with the jelly. Some homemade jellies have always done this.  My mother called it weeping.

Usually citrus is made into a marmalade that requires the whole piece of fruit except the seeds. I did find old recipes using frozen orange juice concentrate and liquid pectin.  I decided to just follow the basic recipe amounts and try this low sugar jelly.  Cranberry orange combination of juices sounded good to me.  The more I thought of it more ways I could use it came to mind that I could use it baking and cooking.

Over the years products and techniques have changed. Now the batches are smaller than they used to be when I was a kids. The amounts of sugar ratio has changed. So a recipe like this one is a great way to start learning how to make jelly and jams.  You don’t have to have a canner to do your water bath in because a large stock pot with a lid can be used. Don’t put your jars directly on the bottom of the pot, but turn a aluminum foil pie plate upside down on the bottom to put your jars on. Punch a few holes in the pie plate so the water can boil through it.

Cranberry Orange Jelly

  • Servings: 3 1/2 pints
  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print


  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened orange juice
  • 2 cups unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 box sure jell premium fruit pectin for less or no sugar needed
  • 3 1/2 cups granulated sugar


Prepare enough clean sterile jars for 3 1/2 pints.  Warm your lids and rings.

Read the instruction that comes with the box.

Bring juice, pectin with a pat of butter to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil for 1 minute.  Add sugar all at once and bring to a boil stirring.  Cook for one minute. Remove from heat.  Skim off foam though there should not be any because the butter prevents that.  Ladle into hot jars. Wipe the top rim of the jar with a wet cloth to remove anything that splashed on it. Run your fingure over the top to make sure it is clean. Remove lid from hot water and seal. Do this one at a time. Place jars in water bath and bring to a boil.  Your water bath should already be hot from sterilizing the jars.  Place lid on top and cook for 10 minutes.  Turn heat off wait about 5 to 10 minute before removing jars.  Place hot jars on a towel and wipe tops off.  The lids will pop when sealed.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks for adding the tip about turning the pie plate over in the stock pot. I broke a lot of jars trying to can my own jelly before I finally invested in one of those big water bath canners with the wire rack. My mom had one of those, but I thought the wire rack was just a convenience, not an essential. At a dollar per jar, you can’t afford to break very many!


    1. trkingmomoe says:

      You can also put an old pot holder or folded towel in the bottom of the stock pot to put your jars on.

      Thanks for your comment.


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