Spiced Apple-Maple Jam

Update: If canning is your “thing” be sure to visit my new growing, canning, and preserving site at Seed to Pantry. I’ll be adding new canning tips and techniques on a regular basis!

Canning is a year round activity in my house, and when I saw this recipe in the new, 100th Anniversary edition of the Ball Blue Book, I knew I had to make it. I wasn’t disappointed. This jam would be good on pancakes or served as a glaze with pork chops, chicken breasts, or meat analogs – and my family loves it with that old stand-by, peanut butter.  Bonus –  it was really easy prepare and the recipe makes quite a lot, about 8 half-pints.

First step – wash 8 or 9 half-pint canning jars and 2-piece lids in the dishwasher.

apples

Start with about 6 lbs of apples. For best results use at least 2 different kinds of apples. As this photo shows, I used some old, soft apples that were hiding in my fruit crisper, along with some newer, hard apples. Peel, core and chop the apples – you want about 3 quarts, or 12 cups, of chopped apples.

chopped apples

Add the chopped apples to a large saucepan. Don’t forget our canning trick – rub a stick of butter or margarine around the top inside edge of the saucepan. This keeps the jam from boiling over. Boiling jam all over the stove is a mess. I know this because I have had to clean it up more than once!

jam ingredients

Add the following to the chopped apples:

  • 6 cups of sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp mace (the original recipe calls for 1/2 tsp of nutmeg)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup maple syrup (be sure to use real maple syrup, not maple-flavored syrup)

Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often to keep the jam from burning. This process took about 40 minutes for me.

cooking jam

Meanwhile, set up your jars. First I lay a clean dish towel on the counter, and then line up my empty jars. Get everything else you need ready; the two-part lids, a wide-mouth funnel, and a ladle.

Once the jam starts boiling, turn up the heat a little and cook rapidly, stirring often, till the jam reaches the gelling point. The gelling point is 8 degrees above boiling water, but I never use a thermometer for this step. I prefer my jam to be a little softer than that, so I use the old-fashioned plate method. When the jam starts to look like the above photo – slightly thickened and caramelized, drop some of it onto a glass plate and pop in the fridge for a minute or so.

setting jam

This isn’t the best photo, but you can see how the jam is setting, and not running off the plate. This is the how I like my jam. If you are new to jam making though, you may want to use a thermometer. First boil some water in a pan and determine the temperature. Then cook your jam to 8 degrees above that temperature. Supposedly water boils at 212 degrees, but that is a generality. The actual temperature varies according to your altitude and the weather.

At this point, skim any foam off the top of the saucepan (there shouldn’t be any if you have been stirring a lot). Remove from heat and ladle into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the jar lids with a damp paper towel before adding the two-piece lids

jam jars

This photo is a little fuzzy, but you can see how beautiful the jam is. The whole house has a wonderful aroma too! Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. Remove, make sure that the lids have sealed, and let sit until cool. Label the jars and watch it quickly disappear. Better get your own spoonful first.

apple jam

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at SeedToPantry.com and HestiasKitchen.com.

Comments (1)

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  1. Pat Clarke says:

    This looks wonderful! I am allergic to most raw fruits and vegetables, so everything has to be cooked. This looks like something that would be a great way to get my fruits in without it being a processed self item.
    Thank you!

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