Mermelada de Arándano, Jamaica, y Naranja ~ Cranberry Hibiscus Orange Jam

Cranberry, Hibiscus, and Orange Jam (H)‘Tis the season to buy cranberries! While I’m not too fond of winter, I do enjoy when cranberries make their first appearance, and I knew the season had arrived when I went by Trader Joe’s this week and bags of these crimson goodies lined the produce shelf.

I bought a bag not knowing exactly what I planned to do with it, but then it dawned on me that I should make something that combined jamaica (hibiscus) and cranberries! After all, I am currently exploring ways to use jamaica, and cranberries are strikingly similar in flavor.
Cranberry, Hibiscus, and Orange Jam (V)

I am sharing this jam recipe as the third post in my jamaica series (Read post #1 here and #2 here.) It is a perfect example of how Mexican ingredients can be incorporated into American cooking.

Around this time of year, my mom always makes something called Cranberry Nut Bread. It is a sweet bread that includes cranberries, walnuts, and orange juice/zest as its star ingredients. When I got to thinking about some flavor possibilities for this jam, I thought that it might taste even better with some orange zest added to it!

Cranberry, Hibiscus, and Orange Jam (Spoon)And…I’m pleased to announce that the punch of orange was a super addition to the jamaica-cranberry pairing. The flowery jamaica flavor is not easily detectable in the final product, but rather the it acts to highlight the bolder cranberry taste. The addition of a vanilla bean adds a sweet undertone.

The jam is on the thicker side and would be great used as a filling in cookies (stay tuned for a fun recipe tomorrow!), and I was thinking that it would also be a great addition to cream cheese. You could whip up a lovely cranberry-swirled cream cheese to be used on cranberry bagels or even raisin bread.

Hmmm…that sounds like a nice Thanksgiving breakfast!

Mermelada de arándano, jamaica, y naranja

Click here for printable recipe.  

Jam (Makes about 2 cups)

½ cup of dried hibiscus (jamaica)

Cheesecloth (5” x 5”)

Baker’s twine (8 inches)

12 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup water

Half of a medium orange, zested and juiced

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise OR 1 TBSP pure vanilla extract OR 1 TBSP vanilla bean paste

→Place the dried hibiscus in a 5” x 5” piece of cheesecloth. Gather the four corners to create a pouch and tie closed at the top with a piece of baker’s twine. Set aside.

→In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, water, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla. Nestle the pouch of hibiscus in the cranberry mixture.

→Turn the stove on to medium-low heat and bring the mixture to a slow simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes stirring constantly until the sauce has thickened and all of the cranberries have split open.

→Remove from heat. Carefully remove the pouch of hibiscus and set on a plate to cool. Remove the vanilla bean and place on the plate as well.

→Using a bean masher, mash the cranberries to break up the skins and create a jam-like texture.

→Using a small knife, scrape the “caviar” out of the inside of the vanilla bean and mix it with the cranberry jam. Discard the vanilla pod.

→Once the hibiscus pouch has cooled, squeeze the remaining juice out into the jam. Mix to combine.


  • This creates a thick jam that would be great in any cookie or cake.
  • Because cranberries and hibiscus have similar flavors, the flavor of the hibiscus is not easily detected. Rather, it amps up the overall cranberry flavor.

3 thoughts on “Mermelada de Arándano, Jamaica, y Naranja ~ Cranberry Hibiscus Orange Jam

  1. shandra p says:

    I am a year behind but I am just finding your wonderful site through cocina de leslie. I wonder if I can use dried cranberries and cut back the sugar since finding fresh or frozen cranberries is very hard to do in the pueblito where I live in Mexico. Any thoughts or ideas about this would be greatly appreciated if possible.

    • Nicole says:

      Hi Shandra!
      I’m so glad you found my blog. I love new visitors! What part of Mexico are you located in? I did a little research and it seems that you can substitute dried cranberries for fresh. For each cup of fresh, you will use 3/4 cup of dried. So, for this recipe I would use approximately 9 oz. or 1 1/4 cup of dried cranberries. Place them in a bowl, then pour boiling water over them just to cover. Place a plate on top to keep the steam in (similar to rehydrating dried chiles) and let them soak for 30 minutes. Discard the water and use them in the recipe as needed. Let me know what you think!!! Saludos!

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