Caramel Apple Jam
Adapted just slightly from Cooking with Mary and Friends
Last weekend I went to visit my parents. Mom and Dad have this HUGE apple tree that makes tons of apples (probably literally) every year. This year especially it is LOADED with apples … apparently way too many for the tree to bear because while we were sleeping, one of the main branches of this tree fell down. There was a little rain that night, with some wind, but certainly not enough to blow down a tree!
Anyway, seeing that large branch laying there on the ground with all those apples on it, well, I just had to try to DO something with them so they wouldn’t all go to waste. I had seen this gorgeous recipe from Cooking with Mary and Friends that was just calling me to make it! And so I went and picked a bucketful of apples and got to work making caramel apple jam. It turned out a beautiful caramel brown color, with lovely chunks of cooked, spiced apples suspended in the jam. I had some on toast and it was really yummy … not like caramel syrup at all, more like apple jam with just a hint of caramel taste. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m betting this jam on a PB&J sandwich would be phenomenal.
Why bother making your own jam? Well, first of all it tastes better. And also, you know exactly what went into it. No preservatives or strange ingredients involved. It makes great gifts, and it keeps for years, so you can enjoy those lovely autumn apples anytime.
- 6 cups finely diced, peeled apples
- 1/2 cup apple wine (or white wine or water)
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 package Certo liquid fruit pectin (or Sure Jell)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- In a large cooking pot, put the apples with the wine, butter and cinnamon stick. Cook over medium low heat for about 10 minutes or until the apples get tender and start to make juice.
- Stir in the sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and chipotle powder. Bring to a boil and cook and stir for several minutes. Stir in the liquid pectin and lemon juice and boil for a few more minutes.
- Meanwhile put clean jars in a pot of boiling water along with the lids, bring to a boil to heat and sterilize them.
- Using a canning funnel, spoon the hot jam into the hot jars, leaving just 1/4 - 1/8 inch of space on top. Wipe the top with a clean, wet cloth, put the lid on and screw it on tightly. Put the jars upside down for a while to ensure the fruit is well suspended, then flip them upright. After 24 hours, remove the rings. If any of the jars didn't seal then keep them in the fridge and use it right away.
You can do a water bath if you like, but my mom says she doesn't bother to do that with jams and jellies anymore, so I skipped that step too.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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