I have a handful of canning recipes here on the blog. I have been an avid canner for about a decade or so now. I’m one of those people who is really picky on the canning rules/guidelines as well. When I see other sites/blogs where they are showing the results of their canning session and it has a jar only half filled or they have said something to the effect of “don’t worry about water bathing it; just invert the jars and it will seal just fine”, I shudder. Most of them, when inevitably lambasted about that (I am not the only picky canner in the world lol), they say something like “well, I’ve always done it that way and we haven’t died yet.” I always feel like saying “and therein lies the key word…. YET”. Like I have told my kids a bazillion times, you can do something stupid 1000 times and get away with it and it’s the very next time that gets you. I’ve often wondered how many “natural” deaths back in the day were from things like food poisoning/botulism.
My long winded rambling point there was practice safe canning. No, that doesn’t mean put a condom on your jars or make sure your apples have been monogamous 😛 It means, if you haven’t canned before or you have but you’re not sure you’re doing it quite right, go to the following site- Getting Started On Safe Canning and read it first.
Making sure you read the recipe correctly is always smart too. I know this for a good reason. Today, upon making this recipe; one that I have made quite a few times before actually- I wasn’t paying attention. Where it says to have 4 cups of apples, about 1 pound, I saw as have 4 pounds of apples. So there I was, looking down into a pot with 4 times the amount of apples I needed for a batch of jam. So what did I do? I went into frantic automaton mode. I divvied up the ingredients into separate batchs and made more than one batch of jam. Problem was, I only have one pot large enough to hold jars as I sterilize them or after canning so I was there for quite a while, making the jam, canning it, sterilizing more jars, making more jam, canning it… ey yi yi.Use me as your example of don’t get distracted while making jam. Thank God my family loves Apple Pie Jam cause we have a ton of it now hehe
So if you like apples, like jam and love the flavors inherent in apple pie ( apples, spices, raisins) you’ll love this. It makes a fantastic PB&J sandwich, i (and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’m not a huge PB fan so that’s saying something), is Heaven on a buttermilk biscuit, is wonderful spooned liberally over vanilla ice cream, great in thumbprint cookies, awesome on a spoon and then shoveled into your mouth. Erhmmmm, I’ve just heard about that last way… I’d never do that myself. Honest.
If you’ve never canned before but want to try it, this is a good recipe to try. It’s easy and the results are delicious. I promise you, if you can read and follow directions, you can can. It is NOT hard, contrary to what you may have heard. Just promise me to not listen to the people who say “just invert your jars; don’t worry about a water bath” or show photos of jars only half filled yet processed. There are reason for the canning rules. It’s to keep you and your family safe…and breathing.
Apple Pie Jam
- 4 cups prepared fruit (about 1 lb granny smith or other tart apples)
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 2 tbsps lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I use a touch more)
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 box powdered fruit pectin
- 1/2 teaspoon butter
- 4 cups white sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- Sterilize jars in a boiling water bath. Keep at a low simmer while you prepare the jam. Pour boiling water over the lids and screw bands and let sit. Measure out your sugar and have it right next to where you’re cooking.
- Peel and core apples/ Finely chop. Add the water and raisins. Measure 4 cups into a large pot. Add spices and lemon juice.
- Stir the powdered pectin into the mixture. Add the butter. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil (one that can’t be stirred away), stirring constantly.
- Stir in all the sugar. Return to a full rolling boil and let boil for one minute. Remove from heat and skim off any foam.
- Ladle quickly into your prepared sterilized jars. Leave a 1/8 inch headspace. Do NOT leave a large headspace. It causes the vacuum seal to not be as strong because there is too much oxygen left in the jar for it to draw out. Do not leave too little of a headspace because the jam can boil up into under the lid thus also causing a poor seal. Wipe down the rims of the jars with a clean damp hot washcloth to get any drips. Drips can cause bacteria to grow under the lid, thus possibly ruining all the jam inside. Put the lids and screw bands on the jars, finger tight. Don’t over tighten.
- Place jars in pot of boiling water (please buy some canning supplies including the thingamajigger (hope that’s not too technical of a term 😀 ) that lowers the cans down for you. Return water to a boil and process jars for a full ten minutes.
- Let jars cool, then check seals. If any of the lids didn’t seal, refrigerate them. Those that did seal can be stored in the pantry, same as any jars of jam you buy at the store.
- Eat. Enjoy. Thank me later. Or now.