Easy French Apple Jam
about 6 apples (I mixed Granny Smith and Honeycrisp)
2 1/2 C. sugar
5 cardamom pods crushed (use a rolling pin or heavy spoon to gently crack open the pods)
juice of 2 lemons divided
2 T. pectin powder this is totally optional, the jam will set without it
Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the juice of 1 lemon. Peel, core, and quarter the apples and add them to the lemon water as you work. Remove the apples from the water (discard the water) and finely dice them. Add the apples to a heavy bottomed pot, along with the sugar, cardamom pods, (and any seeds that have escaped) the pectin (if using) and the juice of the other lemon. Stir well, and then bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered and stirring often, for about 30-40 minutes until thickened. About halfway through the cooking I used my stick blender to blend the jam just a bit, but I left lots of apple chunks intact. This is optional and depends on what texture you want your jam to have, and how large or small you chopped your apples in the first place. If you do this, be extra careful not to splatter yourself, the jam is very hot. Ladle the finished jam into clean (sterilized) jars, cover tightly, and let cool before refrigerating. See note below for preserving options.
Make it your own
- To can this jam you can follow the instructions from the BallÂ® website: Ladle hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat and remove cover. Let jars cool 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner, do not retighten bands if loose. Cool 12 hours. Check seals. Label and store jars.
- Add a few cranberries for a fresh flavor or mix the apples with pears.
- Double or triple the cardamom for a delicious spread to serve with cheese and crackers.