Growing up in our cozy family home, autumn was marked not just by the golden hues of falling leaves but by the aromatic scent of my grandmother’s apple cinnamon concoctions. I fondly remember those early mornings, when she and I would put on our aprons, dance around the kitchen, and work our magic with the freshest of apples from our backyard orchard.
It wasn’t just about the jam; it was about those shared moments, the laughter, the stories and the tradition she passed on. A few years ago, at a neighborhood gathering, I shared jars of this same jam. To my delight, my neighbors were instantly taken back to their own childhood memories of apple pies and festive seasons. That’s the magic of this Apple Cinnamon Jam.
How to Prepare Apple Cinnamon Jam
Ingredients for Apple Cinnamon Jam
- 6 freshly picked Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored, and finely diced
- 4 cups of granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup of soft light brown sugar
- Zest and juice of a sizable lemon
- 1 teaspoon of aromatic ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of rich ground nutmeg
- A pinch (1/4 teaspoon) of ground cloves
- A dash (1/8 teaspoon) of allspice
- 5 half-pint preservation jars with sealing lids and bands
Directions for Apple Cinnamon Jam
- In a deep pot, meld together diced apples, white sugar, brown sugar, zesty lemon juice, fragrant lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Heat until it starts bubbling vigorously.
- Let the mixture simmer, occasionally stirring, until the apples soften and the jam reaches its desired consistency, typically around 45 minutes.
- Test your jam: Place a dab on a chilled plate and refrigerate momentarily. If it sets, it’s ready for jarring.
- Meanwhile, sanitize your jars and lids by immersing them in boiling water for a minimum of 5 minutes.
- Once sanitized, carefully pour the apple jam into the jars, leaving about a 1/4-inch gap at the top. To rid of air bubbles, gently slide a knife or spatula around the jar’s interior.
- Ensure the jar rims are clean by wiping them with a damp cloth. Seal with lids and fasten the rings.
- In a large pot, set a rack at the base, fill half with water, and bring to a boil. Carefully lower the jars, ensuring they are spaced out. Add more water if needed, ensuring it’s at least an inch over the jars’ tops.
- Once the water is boiling again, cover and let it process for about 10 minutes.
- Finally, using caution, remove the jars and set them on a cloth or wooden surface. Once cooled, check the seal by pressing the lid’s center. A firm lid means a perfect seal. Store in a cool, shadowed spot.
Can I use a different apple variety?
Yes, while Granny Smith apples are preferred for their tangy flavor and firm texture, you can experiment with other apple varieties. Just note that the jam’s flavor and texture might slightly vary.
How long can this jam last?
If stored properly in a cool and dark place, and if the jars are sealed correctly, the jam can last up to a year. Once opened, refrigerate and consume within a month.
Can I reduce the sugar?
Yes, but remember sugar acts as a preservative and contributes to the jam’s texture. Reducing it might alter the jam’s consistency and reduce its shelf life.
Do I have to use lemon?
Lemon not only adds flavor but also helps in the setting of the jam due to its natural pectin content. If you opt to skip it, consider using a commercial pectin as a substitute.
What can I serve with this jam?
This jam pairs wonderfully with toast, scones, yogurt, or even as a filling for pastries and cakes. Let your culinary imagination run wild!
Can I double the recipe?
Yes, you can double the recipe. However, ensure you use a larger pot to accommodate the increase and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Easy Apple Cinnamon Jam
- 6 Granny Smith apples - peeled cored, and finely chopped
- 4 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 large lemon zested and juiced
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 5 half-pint canning jars with lids and rings
- Combine apples, white sugar, light brown sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice in a pot; bring to a rolling boil. Cook at a boil, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft and jam gelling point 220 degrees F is reached, at least 45 minutes. Put a small amount of jam on a cold plate; freeze for several minutes. If the mixture is gelled, it is ready to process in a canner.
- Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Pack apple jam into hot, sterilized jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a knife or thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids and screw on rings.
- Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil and lower jars into the boiling water using a holder. Leave a 2-inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary to bring the water level to at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a rolling boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Store in a cool, dark area.