Homemade Cranberry Jelly

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Cranberry jelly, a must have Thanksgiving side dish, is quick and easy, and better tasting when you make it at home.

Cranberry jelly, a must have Thanksgiving side dish, is quick and easy, and better tasting when you make it at home.

For years my husband has insisted on having canned cranberry jelly for Thanksgiving dinner. He likes the jelly and not the chunky sauce. Recently my son asked me if I was making cranberry sauce again this year. I reminded him that no one but me ate it last year. So I decided instead of making cranberry sauce this year, I would make the smooth cranberry jelly that my husband loves.

Collage of How to Make Cranberry Jelly BarbaraBakes.com

I did a trial run a couple of weeks ago and it was was so good. My husband was happy with it. He said it tasted like cranberry jelly (a good review.) My son liked it better. He said it didn’t have that canned taste. And I liked it so much better.

I made it without pectin the first time and it didn’t set up enough to use the cute little turkey molds I decided I needed to order from Amazon late one night. So this time I used the liquid pectin I had in the pantry, only half of a pouch, and the consistency was perfect.

I made it in my electric pressure cooker, because I like the convenience of just pressing start and coming back when the cooking’s done, but you could easily make it on the stove as well. I adapted the recipe from Pick Your Own. They also give instructions on canning the sauce if you’re not going to have a crowd to share it with on Thanksgiving.

Featured Image for post Homemade Cranberry Jelly

Cranberry Jelly

Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 2 bags (12 oz each) fresh cranberries, about 6 cups
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons liquid pectin*


  1. Wash and pick over cranberries. Add the cranberries and apple juice to the pressure cooking pot.
  2. Select High Pressure and 5 minutes cook time. When timer sounds, turn pressure cooker off and use a quick pressure release. When valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
  3. Pour the cooked cranberries in a food mill over a large bowl to separate the cranberry juice from the skins and seeds. (You could also use a blender to puree the berries and then use a strainer to strain the skin and seeds.) Rinse out and dry the pressure cooking pot.
  4. Put the cranberry juice back in the pressure cooking pot and add the sugar and the liquid pectin. Select saute and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil one minute. Remove the pressure cooking pot from the pressure cooker.
  5. Allow mixture to cool slightly and then pour jelly in to a bowl or molds. Chill until set.
  6. To unmold, dip mold in warm water for 5 seconds, then invert jelly onto platter. (I turned them out on to a Silpat.)


If you don't have a pressure cooker, cook on the stove for 10 to 15 minutes until cranberries have softened and popped.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving! I’m thankful for each of you who take the time to stop by and check out what on I’m baking on Barbara Bakes.

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Cranberry jelly, a must have Thanksgiving side dish, is quick and easy, and better tasting when you make it at home.

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originally published November 25, 2013 — last updated January 28, 2019
Categories: Fruit