Keeping the Harvest – Apple Jam
Last month, in our Keeping the Harvest series – we explored pickling apples (if you missed that blog post, you can find the link HERE. This month we will sweeten things up with Ambrosia apple jam!
Making apple jam is a delightful way to preserve the flavours of fresh apples. It’s a straightforward process that involves cooking down the fruit with sugar and lemon juice to create a sweet and tangy spread. Here’s a simple recipe to guide you through the process:
- 2 pounds (about 1 kg) of Ambrosia apples
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (adjust according to the sweetness of the apples)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
Prepare the apples: Wash, peel, and core the apples. Cut them into small chunks or slices. The smaller the pieces, the quicker they will cook down.
Cook the apples: In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, add the chopped apples, sugar, lemon juice, and water. If you want to add cinnamon for extra flavour, now is the time to include it. Mix everything well.
Simmer the mixture: Place the pot on the stove over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer. Keep stirring occasionally to avoid burning and to help the apples break down evenly.
Achieve the desired consistency: The apples will soften and release their juices as they cook. Allow the mixture to simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the apples have completely broken down and the jam has thickened to your desired consistency. To check if the jam is ready, place a small amount on a chilled plate; if it sets and doesn’t run when you tilt the plate, it’s done.
Preserve the jam: While hot, carefully ladle it into sterilized jars, leaving a bit of headspace at the top. Wipe the jar rims clean and seal them with sterilized lids. Follow proper canning procedures if you wish to store the jam for an extended period. Otherwise, you can refrigerate it and use it within a few weeks.
Apple jam is a versatile spread that can be used in various ways. Here are a few ideas:
- Toast topping: Spread apple jam on toast, bagels, or English muffins for a delicious breakfast treat.
- Peanut butter and jam sandwiches: Combine apple jam with peanut butter for a delightful twist on the classic PB&J sandwich.
- Pancake or waffle topping: Drizzle apple jam over pancakes or waffles instead of traditional maple syrup.
- Yogurt mix-in: Stir apple jam into plain yogurt for added sweetness and flavour.
- Cake or pastry filling: Use apple jam for cakes, pastries, or turnovers.
- Cheese platter accompaniment: Pair apple jam with cheese, such as Brie or cheddar, for a delightful contrast of flavours.
- Glaze for meats: Use apple jam for roasted or grilled meats like pork or chicken.
- Ice cream topping: Spoon apple jam over vanilla ice cream for a fruity and sweet dessert.
Get creative and enjoy your homemade apple jam! Tag us in any social media posts at #ambrosiaapples #ambrosiatestkitchen, and your photos may be featured in our following newsletter!