It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And no I don’t mean Christmas. I mean the other most wonderful time of the year when I start my canning and preserving. Everywhere I go I see fresh berries, fruits, and veggies but don’t worry, I’m going to show you how to make several types of jams and jellies that don’t call for berries if you like trying new things. They’re going to taste so good that you won’t want to share but please do. Especially for holidays and events. Homemade gifts are the perfect way to show just how much you care. And trust me when I say there’s scarcely anything better than homemade jams, jellies, and preserves and I’m going to show you just how easy it is to get addicted to making your own. Today we’ll make Apple Pie Jam. Just thinking about how good it’s going to be, makes me want to go out and stock up on fresh, soft, bread and bagels of all kinds and pounds of cream cheese.
Gather all of your ingredients:
1 pack of Sure Gel fruit pectin (you can use liquid pectin, 1 pouch)
5 large 1 cup of water
5 cups of sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
From your kitchen:
6 half-pint Mason jars
Wash and slice your 5 apples; congratulations, that was the hardest part of this recipe and if you tackled it, the rest is easy as “pie.”
Now add the sliced apples and the 1 cup of water to a dutch oven. Cover and cook on low heat until they’re tender. I’m going to use a large KitchenAid dutch oven to do my cooking, mixing and water bath in but if you have a canner, you can use that instead for your water bath. I’m a deprived housewife, I don’t have one ;).
Don’t throw your apple peels away, you can make a delicious snack with them.
While your apples are getting nice and tender (but not too soft because mush is not what we’re shooting for ladies and gents) go ahead and wash your jars in super-duper hot sudsy water as well as the lids and rims. Rinse the rims and lids and add them to a saucepan, we’re going to boil them in a minute (or two). Keep the jars in the hot water because we want them hot when we add the boiling hot mixture to them.
I use a canning funnel to add the mixture to the jars. It has a nice wide hole and works well with any size jar, even wide mouth jars. I purchased mine at Target but I’m guessing you can get them anywhere you shop.
If you want to get fancy, you could buy your jam labels, or if you’re the creative sort, you could make your own dissolvable labels. I usually make mine but occasionally I buy them on Etsy.
When your apples are tender (but not mushy), take them out of the pan and measure out 4 1/2 cups. Add back to the water mixture and either save the remaining apples or eat them. After my first couple of batches, I’ve never had any extra. I’ve just about got this recipe down to a science and I could almost make it blindfolded. I have made up to a dozen batches of this in a few day’s time. It’s super popular in my circle of friends and family. The more I make, the more I have to make.
On medium heat, add 5 cups of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of butter. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once you reach the full boiling stage, quick as a streak, add pectin in, and stir. Boil 1 minute stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and skim off any foam you might have. I never have any and I’m guessing that’s because of the butter. Now stir in 1 1/4 cinnamon (TOH recommends 1 1/2 but I find this too strong) and 1 teaspoon nutmeg.
Boil then drain your lids and rims. Add mixture to jars using a ladle and your canning funnel. Add lid and screw on rims.
Next, add water to a clean dutch oven, enough to cover jars with a reasonable amount. I add my jars then fill up to about 3/4 of the jar. Now boil the pot with the jars in it for 10 minutes. I only boiled the jars with fruit in them.
Turn the stove off and remove from heat. I wait at least 30 minutes to remove my jars from the pan but you could remove them now and set them in a draft-free area to set. You’ll hear the lids pop when they’ve set.
I could have stretched the apples out to make 6 half-pints but I love lots of apples in my jam. So, I got 5 jars of apple pie jam and 1 jar of just the sugar, spices, and pectin mixture. I can’t call it jelly because it’s not drained, and I can’t really call it jam because there’s not any fruit in it, so, we just won’t call it.
Wait at least 24 hours to enjoy your jelly. If you’re planning to make some for Mother’s Day, tomorrow would be the best day to do this (May 12, 2017) so they have time to set after sealing. If you’re making for someone at the nursing home, they may prefer mashed apples instead of sliced. I’ve tried this recipe with every color and type of apple available so don’t stick to just one. I’ve also made it by dicing, mashing, and even draining and omitting the apples. Having fun and mixing things up is all part of canning so don’t be afraid to experiment.
I hope you’ll let me know in a comment if you try this Apple Pie Jam recipe. Recipe from Taste of Home Canning & Preserves 2012 edition (slight variation from their recipe). Wow, I can’t believe I’ve been making this jam for 5 years now. Time really does fly when my appetite is satisfied.