Saturday, November 19, 2011

Apple Jam



From: I put this recipe together using a few things from several online recipes that I found.  It took several tries to get it just right, but it's a great one!

Ingredients:

4 cups of FINELY chopped apples (no need to remove the peel)
1.5 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1 tbsp butter
1 box (1 3/4 oz) dry pectin OR 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed

How to:  

Measure apples in a measuring cup.  Now add in the same measuring cup water to fill up to the 4 cup line (with the apples in it).  Pour this into a large pot on high heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat some and continue to boil for 5 to 10 minutes until the apples are cooked.  Use a potato masher to mash and stir.

Add lemon juice, spices and butter.  IF you are using pectin, add that at this time too.  If you are using arrowroot powder, do not.  Bring back to a boil (you may have never lost the boil).

Add sugars.  Bring back to a full rolling boil and stir constantly.

IF you are using arrowroot, remove the pot from heat and allow it to COMPLETELY COOL.  It must be cool enough for you to comfortably stick your finger into.  If you do not allow it to cool, the arrowroot will form small hard chunks in your otherwise liquid jam instead of helping the entire thing to gel.  Once it is comfortably cool, add the arrowroot powder and mix WELL.  Now put it back on medium high heat and bring to a boil.  It will start to thicken.

IF you are using pectin, continue boiling for one minute.

Now allow it to cool enough so that you can spoon the jam into jars, allowing 1/4 inch headspace in each jar.  Tightly screw on lids.

If you plan on storing your jam at room temperature, now it's time for the water bath.  If you plan on refrigerating the jam within 24 hours and/or eating it right away, you can skip the water bath.  Place the jars in a clean deep pot.  Add water up to the bottom of the lid of the jars, but so that it does not submerge them.  Place over high heat.  Bring to a high boil.  Boil for 10 to 15 minutes.  Using a jar grabber or thick rubber gloves, remove the jars from the boiling water and allow to cool at room temperature.  Once they've cooled, the jam inside will be even more thick and it's ready to store.

Congratulations!  You've just made home made jam.

Side Notes:  Pectin is more common, but more expensive.  If you are making several dozen jars of jam, this can be pricey, and arrowroot powder is the way to go.  If not, pectin might be your better choice.  Pectin can be found at Walmart near the canning supplies.  Arrowroot powder is a starchy powder and can be found at your local natural foods market (like Sunflower Market or Whole Foods) in the baking section.

This recipe makes approximately three or four 16-oz jars (depending on your choice of thickening agent) of jam.

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