You guys… I made jam this weekend!!!!
I might have been feeling overly ambitious when I decided to try making it in my apartment while working on DIY Christmas gifts for this week. For someone whose cooking skills are medium at best, it appeared to be a bit of an undertaking. I was a little bit intimidated and was fairly certain I’d ruin my kitchen. But you know what? It wasn’t all that hard and my kitchen survived. And it’s absolutely DELICIOUS. So… take it from me. I did it, it wasn’t hard, you don’t need any special equipment, so you can do it too. And in doing it, you will impress your family.
Holiday Jam Recipe: Apple Pie in a Jar.
When I decided that I would make jam, I wanted to make an apple jam as that’s my favorite kind. So I did a bit of research and found this recipe, which didn’t sound too hard. I made a few changes to it, but more or less, this is what I did, and the ratio of spices is perfection as it literally tastes and smells just like apple pie. So. yummy.
- 5 half pint jars (I used these exact jars!)
- 8 medium golden delicious apples.
- 1.5 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. cloves
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. Allspice
- 1 packet pectin (this is the exact brand I used)
- Apple Juice (to use as needed – you may not need but it comes in handy)
Servings: Makes 5 half pint jars.
- Begin by peeling and coring your apples, and then finally chop them into tiny chunks. This was kind of a pain and definitely the most tedious part of the recipe but I did this relatively quickly by slicing the top + bottom off of each apple, peeling them using a potato peeler, and then using this wonderful toy to slice them/remove the core. From there, I just chopped the apples up! You could also use a food processer but don’t puree them; you want this to be slightly chunky.
- Combine apples, lemon juice, pectin + spices in a big pot. Add sugar and brown sugar. Stir and bring to a slow boil. Stir constantly at first and then cook at a full rolling boil for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure that the mixture gets up to 220 degrees (the gelling point for jam… I used my meat thermometer to check!)
- If the jam gets too thick (mine did at one point) add a little apple juice to thin out the mixture.
- While you are doing this, get another pot and sterilize your jam jars and lids by boiling them for 5 minutes.
- Remove hot jars from water (I used tongues), let dry, and then fill (still hot) jars with jam mixture.
- Seal jars with lids.
- Place a rack in the bottom of a large pot, fill with enough water to cover the jars with at least one inch of water. Boil the water and then place the jars on the rack. Don’t let the jars touch. (You may need to do two batches which is what I did). This step is the final step and is known as “processing” the jam. Let it process for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, remove hot jars from stockpot and let them cool to room temperature.
- Store your jam in a cool dark area.
When & How to Serve This Holiday Jam
This jam makes a great gift! It’s a thoughtful and impressive hostess gift, or a great thing to make for your employees or boss, your in-laws, family, etc. It’s basically a great gift for anyone who enjoys food, especially dessert.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to eat/serve it.
- I love serving it with a cheese board display.
- Try incorporating it into baked brie!
- Make a holiday sandwich with turkey and cheese (brie or cheddar would be delicious!)
- For breakfast, it’s great on toast with a little butter.
- Make a deconstructed apple pie sundae. A little of this and some crumbled graham crackers – YUM.
- Serve it with protein as a glaze (chicken, ham, etc.) Just put it into a cute little serving dish (and try not to brag about how amazing you are for having made your own homemade jam – this is a problem for me.)