apple pie jam!

9:01 AM


It's hard to believe that I have been canning now for two years. I began water bath canning as a way to teach myself to be more self reliant and to learn the art form of preservation that decades ago was the only way to keep our families nourished during the winter months. It wasn't really until the time of the second World War that tin canned good became the way of life. Form then on women were encouraged to purchase canned vegetables and meats from the ever growing grocery stores instead of growing and preserving foods of their own. Of course, for many people outside of the city and suburban areas of the country, much of the foods in the pantry come right from the garden and the hunt. I admire those people who remain closely connected with their food.

Apples this time of year are abundant and, if you know where to go, incredibly reasonable to pick or buy. They are also versatile: they can be baked into pies, shredded for muffins, pureed into sauces, turned into jams, or simply eaten raw. October meant quite a few visits to our favorite orchard to grab the last of the apples for the season. It also meant me spending lots of time in the kitchen playing with pots and lots of sugar!


Last year I canned a good bit of apple sauce and caramel apple jam (yum), but this year I wanted something a little more rich, which is why I tried some apple pie jam! The right amount of spices makes it tastes just like apple pie filling, especially when it is warmed on some toast, waffles, biscuits, or even ice cream. The cooking process also gives off a divine scent that tops any Yankee Candle.


There are so many different recipes online and, after a few tries, I decided to actually combine a few to get just the right flavor I was looking for.

INGREDIENTS


    • 4 - 5 cups of peeled and diced apples (between 8 - 10 apples depending on size)
    • 2 tbls lemon juice
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp ground ginger
    • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1 box powdered pectin
    • 6 cups white sugar
    • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (many people suggest dark, however I used light since that was all I had)
    • 1/2 tsp butter
    • water
    • 3 pint jars or 6 half pint jars with lids and rings


DIRECTIONS

After your apples have been peeled and diced, pack them tightly into your measuring glass, adding some water to the glass to "fill in" the spaces in between. This helps the apples to cook better (similar to how you prepare apple sauce. Add the apples along with your lemon juice and spices to your pot. As it is heating, sprinkle your pectin over the mixture and bring to a full, rolling boil, stirring frequently. Lower your heat and add both the brown and white sugars to the mixture. Once mixed in, bring back to a hard boil that cannot be stirred down for one minute, stirring the entire time making sure to get deep down to the bottom of the pots to really mix that sugar. Add your pinch of butter to help bring down any foam that remains once you remove your jam from the heat.

At this point, you may add your jams to your clean, sterilized jars and refrigerate once cooled or you can go on to water bath can the jams. Following the guidelines set by the National Center for Home Food Preservation, process your jams in your water bath canner, making sure to to first remove all air from the jars and apply your new, sterile lids with rings with care, for approximately 10 minutes, making sure to calculate any changes due to your elevation. Once finished, remove your jars from your canner and set on a clean cloth to cool. Check all of your lids to make sure they sealed before putting up in your pantry. Never put up a can that has not sealed correctly as it will spoil and will not be safe to consume if let sit. Instead, refrigerate these jars or, like I do, share the goodness with a neighbor or friend who will be sure to gobble it up before Turkey Day!


This jam would make a wonderful gift to bring to a host for any fall dinner as it compliments so many things. Personally, I like to set a lot of my preserves aside for the winter holidays that way I have something special for any guests that may pop in. 

Happy canning all....and try not to gobble all this jam up at once! 

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