the beginnings of fall are my favorite. i l.o.v.e. the feelings of late summer preserving my mini harvests for the winter. it's all very cozy, isn't it? last week was grape jam, this week has been all about apples. yum yum yum.
that's me picking these yummy apples from the tippy top of the tree! did i mention this organic apple tree is in my grandmother's back yard?
apples apples and more apples!
we picked out a few of our favorits- that's my mom in the green!
ingredients for one batch of apple jam:
- 7 cups of apple mixture (will explain later)
- one box of pectin (organic if you can find it!)
- 9 cups of organic sugar (double gasp)
- 1 tbs of organic butter
we made about 7 batches of jam (from about 3 bushels of apples)- so make sure to get plenty of ingredients! next is the how-to:
wash all of your apples, reeaally well, then cut them into fourths- and place them in a big stock pot (don't worry about the cores and seeds).
aren't these so beautiful? just make sure to remove any bad spots- organic apples are a bit prone to worms, but hey- can you blame 'em?
next, fill your pot with enough water to just barely cover the tops of your apples. simmer on med-high for about 30 minutes, or until they get good and mushy (yum yum).
stew stew stew!
next, place the cooked apples into a food mill (if you have one) and turn it until all that apple goodness comes out the bottom (see below). this leaves the seeds, cores and skins in the mill to be discarded/composted. if you don't have a food mill- don't fret! you can just place your apples in a strainer (make sure the seeds won't fit through the holes) and whisk it around with a spoon until it sifts through the bottom.
what sifts through the bottom comes out looking much like apple sauce. from this is what you'll measure your 7 cups from. place 7 cups of this apple-saucey mixture into a pot and add your box of (hopefully organic) pectin and butter. place over high heat until it comes to a rolling boil- stirring so that it doesn't stick to the bottom.
when your mixture has come to a rolling boil, it's time to add the sugar (yup, all 9 cups of it). stir this until it returns to a rolling boil. when it does, set your timer for 1 minute and stir continuously. after 1 minute, take it off the heat. you're now ready to start dipping the apple jam into your sterilized jars (you did sterilize your jars, didn't you?). click here for the know-how.
this is what our 'assembly line' looked like. sterilized jars and lids to the left, jars being sterilized to the far right. apple everything somewhere in the middle!
make sure to skim the foam off the top of your jam and then start ladeling it into your sterizlied jars. leave 1/4"-1" head space at the top.
tighten down the lid and you're all done! you'll have wonderfully delicious jam all year long!
let me know if you have any questions- and please share w/ us if you make it or have any advice!
ok.. one more picture of how pretty the tree is: