Something about the cooler weather makes me want to cook. I was reading Food & Wine magazine, and they had a story about homemade (food) holiday gifts. There was a nice recipe for a pear jam, so I was inspired to make it. I went to Ace and got canning jars, and came home to prep my pears (which rest in sugar overnight). This particular recipe did not call for the boiling canning process, leaving the jam with a 2 month (refrigerated) shelf life. I noticed we had a shit-ton of apple from several weeks CSA boxes, so I googled some apple jam recipes. I am not really a fan of apple butter, so I wanted an alternative. I found a couple I liked, and below is my adaptation.
Note: I learned you do not need all kinds of fancy equipment to can….I have a nice steamer pot I used (assuming I did it right).
8 cups of apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
4 cups of fresh cranberries
3 cups of sugar
3 cups of brown sugar
1 cup of water
2 limes, juiced and zested
1. In a heavy pot, place the apples, cranberries, regular and brown sugar, and water and cook over high heat for about 5-10 minutes, until the fruits have released some of their juices and the sugar has mixed into a liquid. Add cinnamon and nutmeg at your discretion.
2. Once the cranberries have begun to break and the apple soften, add the lime juice and zest. Cook over high heat, stirring, until the mixture thickens.
3. Place in the jars. I am not going to describe the canning process, but here is the website I used to do it myself. However, you do not have to do the proper canning process. Refrigerated, this jam will be okay for 1-2 months.
Had I know how easy it is to make jam, I would have done it years ago. Mark and I sampled some extra, and we were both surprised at how much less sweet it was than the stuff at the grocery store (and we buy the hippy stuff). Even with 6 cups of sugar! The apple and cranberry combo turned out yummy. I worked my apple chunks were too big, but I actually liked having a big bite.