How to Make "Tin Can" Cranberry Jelly

(Just Like When You Were a Kid)

Canned cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving staple across the country, and if you always get nostalgic for the wiggly, jiggly, molded jelly from your childhood, this modern-day recipe is for you!

Learn to make a better version of the famous (or infamous) cranberry jelly "log" using only fresh cranberries, sugar, and juice, plus an empty can you already have lying around.

This recipe offers a healthier, corn syrup-free version that you can make at home, complete with molded ridges from an aluminum can!


– 3 cups cranberries – 1 2/3 cups sugar – 2/3 cup orange juice – 1 tablespoon low-sugar pectin      (optional, see note below) – 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon      (optional) – 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg      (optional)


In a medium pot over medium-high heat, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a full rolling boil, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Once the cranberries have burst and the sauce has thickened into a jam-like consistency, about 15 minutes, remove the pot from heat.


Press the cranberries through a food mill (fitted with its finest screen) or a fine mesh sieve (with a spoon) to strain the sauce of any seeds and pulp. You should be left with a fairly smooth, syrupy sauce.


Pour the sauce into a clean, empty, 15-ounce can. (You’ll want to reuse a can that previously contained a mild food, like beans or corn, lest you want Texan chili-flavored jelly!)


Let the sauce cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight until the jelly is set.

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