spiced apple jam
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Ian’s family has a farm in Nebraska. It is Charlie’s favorite place on earth. He was 7 the first time he visited. he went with Ian’s mom. Just the two of them. It was the first time he had ever been away from me for more than a day. Carolyn called us very night to check in, but Charlie was too busy to even bother to say hello to us. When they got back Charlie told us that he missed us, but cried when it was time to come back home. He loved it that much.
He visits the farm every other summer. Sometimes it’s just he and his grandma, sometimes it is with his cousins, and Stella even went one year. The farm was not her favorite place to visit. What is her favorite is the jam that Aunt Cat sends from the farm every year.
Those jars are prized possessions and disappear in a matter of days.
Our jars from last winter are long gone, but a basket full of apples on the counter was begging to be made into something delicious. After apple sauce and apple butter, and still a few pounds of apple to be used, I wanted to try something different.
I did plan to make apple jelly, but that requires a few extra steps. Jam and jelly start the same, but to make jelly the juice is strained from the crushed and cooked apples. The juice is then boiled down with sugar and pectin. Jam is much easier, and I actually prefer the texture of jam to jelly.
To make apple jam, the apples are cooked with sugar; I also added a cinnamon stick and nutmeg.Once most of the liquid evaporates, crush the softened fruit, remove the whole spices and pour into jars. I love the thick texture and have been spreading this jam on everything from toast and pancakes to crackers with cheese. Charlie has been eating peanut butter and apple jam sandwiches for dessert every night after dinner.
spiced apple jam
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 lbs apples (a variety works best) I used honey crisp, granny smith, and gala, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 tsp grated fresh nutmeg (optional)
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- in a large pot, over medium-high bring sugar and 3 Tbsp water to a boil
- stir frequently
- when the sugar begins to turn golden brown in color, add the apples, the caramel will harden, but softens again as the apples cook down
- add cinnamon stick and grated nutmeg (if using)
- reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the apples soften and most of the liquid has evaporatd (this will take 20 - 30 minutes)
- crush apples for a smoother texture if desired
- remove form heat, remove the cinnamon stick, and stir in the lemon juice
- place jam in glass jars, and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month
Of course my jam making is nothing compared to those jars coming from Nebraska each year, but this spiced apple jam is delicious and a must make this fall.
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