I've always wanted to make homemade jam, but until recently, I was too chicken to try my hand at it. But, as fate would have it, I had a one peck bag of apples to use up, so I said, "What the heck? Let's make some Apple Jam!"
I actually had no idea what went into the jam-making process, so I did a bit of research online, and after reviewing several different recipes, I pieced this one together. In all honesty, I never expected it to turn out so well, but I just can't...stop...eating...it!
My favorite way to enjoy this Apple Pie Jam is to spoon a teaspoon or two over plain Greek yogurt (think Fage, or Chobani). However, my husband prefers mixing it into his Haagen Daaz frozen vanilla yogurt. My mom says that she loves it with toast and butter, and as for my sister, well she's hiding hers in the back of her fridge so that she doesn't have to share it with anyone! The options are endless.
Apple Pie Jam*
(This recipe will completely fill 2, pint-sized (16 oz) mason jars. There will be additional jam left over, so I just place it into a glass pyrex dish with a lid and put it in the refrigerator for prompt eating!)
* 1 lemon
* 6 cups mixed red and green apples (about 7 medium-sized apples)
* 1 cup water
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 3 cups sugar
* 2 cups packed light brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Step 1: Zest lemon into a small bowl. Set both zest and lemon aside for later use.
Step 2: Add water, butter, and juice from 1/2 of the lemon (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) to a stockpot or large saucepan.
Step 3: Wash the apples. Set aside one green apple and one red apple. Peel the rest of the apples and core them. (Remove the cores by quartering each apple lengthwise and cutting into each quarter on an angle.) Then core the remaining red "skin-on" apple. Lastly, remove the skin from the green apple in a long snake-like strip; this will serve as the pectin in this jam.
Step 4: Using a food processor, finely chop the apples until you have 6 cups in total. Add each chopped cup of apples directly to the lemon-water to prevent the fruit from browning.
Step 5: Add lemon zest and cook apples over medium-low heat until apples are soft, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently.
Step 7: Return mixture to a rolling boil and stir constantly for 7-10 minutes, or until mixture begins to thicken up.
Step 10: Remove from water bath and set jars down in a cool, draft-free place to cool completely before moving to the refrigerator. (Jam will continue to set overnight in the fridge.)
*The inspiration for this jam came from Robert Atwood's recipe for Caramel Apple Jam at Allrecipes.com.
To find out how to sterilize jars, or create a water bath, check out: Pick Your Own
For more information on jam-making in general, visit: National Center for Home Food Preservation