Saturday, September 11, 2010

Apple Jam Making

I forgot how time consuming preparing apples for jams are. These apples are definately organic-all different sizes, a few worm holes to cut around, and these are very hard and crisp.
Here is a link to EbyJo's apple jam recipe, hers is wonderful if you are using the regular pectin and sugar.
I am experimenting again this morning with Ball's no sugar pectin. These work with no sugar at all, or can sweeten with anything to your liking. Another note-be sure to follow your instincts when developing a new recipe-I usually do, but didn't this time for my first batch.
The Ball no sugar pectin's general recipe formula is to use 4 cups of fruit, a little lemon juice, and the pectin. When I was cutting up the fruit for my first batch I thought "ya know, I should really double the recipe to 8 cups so I get a few jars"-I didn't do that-and ended up with 3 1/2 pints. My other thought while I was cooking it down, was "to only use 1/2 box of pectin, it would save money for one, and I have pectin in the apples, doesn't look like I am going to get that many jars"---but I didn't, so it really thickened up,and I needed to add in a little hot water to thin it down.
But, I am really happy with the flavor, and the next batch I will double the fruit to the box of pectin, and will work up another flavor.
Kathy's Batch 1 Apple Jam
2 cups peeled, cored, diced apples-(cut into lemon juice water)
1 cup peeled, cored, diced pear-(cut into lemon juice warer)
1 cup peeled chopped large green grapes
1/4 cup organic sugar
1/4 cup honey
Penzys new cinnamon to taste
mace-just a sprinkling
Ball's no sugar pectin (suggest 1/2 box)
I set up a big bowl of cold water and pour in some fresh lemon juice-this adds flavor to the fruit, and keeps them whiter
Take a pot and add in all the fruit and honey and sugar. Let set for at least an hour so the fruit develops some sugar. This would even be better to do the night before and store in frig-make jam next morning-I wasn't that organized-hehehe
Cook on low heat, til the apples are tender, adding in the cinnaon and mace
I added in about a tablespoon of lemon juice for good measure.
When everything is soft and thickened, and boiling-slowly add in the pectin while stirring. Let boil good for another 5 minutes or so. Turn off heat put a lid on, and let set for 5 minutes. This helps to thicken with the no sugar pectin.
Have your jars boiling on the rack upside down in your water bath canner. Place lids in a bowl of every hot weather.
Fill your jars, be sure to clean the rim well, place the lids on and return jars to the canner. Process for 10 minutes. Take out and let cool. wash up and label your jars next day.
A note: I picked up this tip over on mary janes farm forum-if you have hard water, like I do, add a good splash of white vinegar to your canner-what a difference it makes, your jars will not be covered with that hard lime.
I never liked the idea of heating jars in the oven. I have always put my jars in the rack upside in the canner, bring it all to a boil, and take out each jar and fill. So much easier for me.
second recipe and photos to follow

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