As the cold winter days arrive I set my mind to holiday entertaining and gift giving. Winter is the best time of year to work on creating special & memorable jams, jellies and conserves. A creative afternoon in the the kitchen with spicy aromas filling the house is the perfect way to get you into the spirit of the holiday season.
Winter preserves are often seasoned with spices, spirits, nuts and winter fruits like: cranberries, clementines and pomegranates. They are luxurious and quite indulgent. Here are ten gift worthy holiday preserve recipes to ignite your creativity.
Ten Perfect Holiday Preserves
Bourbon Bacon Jam
Everything is better with bacon right? Sadly this is one of those recipes that has a short shelf life and should be kept in the refrigerator. Bacon flavoured food is a huge craze right now though so don’t let that deter you. Just be sure to include safe storage instructions on the tag. I like this recipe from Cravings of a Lunatic. You can find the recipe here.
Cranberry Champagne Jam with Crystallized Ginger
This recipe with champagne, cranberries and ginger reads like a cocktail recipe. Ginger adds such a nice warming effect to jams. Serious eats has a great recipe. You can find recipe here. IF you need crystallized ginger you can find that here.
Old Fashioned Apple Fig Chutney
Apple Fig chutney has a tangy sweet flavour. It’s an ideal accompaniment for a cheese plate or cold meats, especially venison and beef. This is our special family recipe that we get special requests for every year. You can find the recipe here. If you are looking for good dried figs these ones are our favourites.
Fig, Orange & Pistachio Conserve
This Fig, Orange and Pistachio Conserve is perfect for entertaining. Surprising and unusual it’s a perfect way to bring together cheese trays. Just imagine it with baked brie and a freshly baked baguette. You can find the recipe here.
Blueberry Lavender Jam Recipe
There is something decadent about the rich dark purple of blueberries that fits on a winter brunch menu. Try it warmed as a sauce for pancakes or as an upscale peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Either way lavender and blueberries belong together. You can find the recipe here. If you are looking for dried lavender you can find that here.
When boxes of Christmas oranges arrive in the supermarkets it’s a sure sign that Christmas is coming. Most varieties that you find are Mandarin oranges but you can usually also find the smaller Clementine’s. Whichever variety you select, they both make a great jam. You can find the recipe here.
Blackberry Vanilla Bourbon Jam
We freeze a lot of our garden blackberries giving us time in the winter to create all kinds of lovely things. You can make this jam with fresh or frozen berries, just be sure to thaw them out completely. This jam would be exceptional on hot buttered toast or on porridge. You can find the recipe here.
Honey Sweetened Cherry Jam
I like to use this kind of jam as a filling in mini tarts or chocolate cupcakes. Cherry and chocolate (and maybe some fresh whipped cream) is a winning combination. You can find the recipe here.
Raspberry Kirsch Jam
This is a bold and beautiful jam and it’s quick & simple to make. It’s tingly tartness makes your taste buds sing. You can find the recipe here.
Champagne Blush Jelly
Champagne blush jelly sparkles in the jar making it one of the prettiest holiday preserves that I have seen. It calls for raspberry juice but we use pomegranate and everyone loves it. Cherry or cranberry juice would be nice as well. Find the recipe here.
Enjoy and indulge! If you are looking for the perfect way to dress up your preserves for gift giving try our easy tutorial on How to Make Fabric Jam Jar Covers. If you have favourites that you think belong on this list let us know in the comments!