Monday, October 26, 2009

Making Jam: Apple Preserves

I've said it before, but I love this time of year!  I'm really enjoying the crisp air and the beautiful colors on all the trees.  It's the peak of apple season and that means I also get to enjoy my new found love (obsession rather) of canning.

My sister and I went to our favorite farm last weekend to get more apples (a bunch more), pumpkins and tomatoes.  This weekend it was time to start canning those babies.  So far, I've canned salsa, apple butter and apple preserves.  I still have a bunch more apples to can and haven't even started on the pumpkins yet.  I'm saving those for next month.

Here is a photo of  the delicious apples we got from Jaemor Farms.  The green ones are Mutsu apples and the red ones are Cameo apples.  Both of them are crisp and a little bit tart.  Great for canning and eating!



I really like these apple preserves!  They have just a hint of lemon flavor and are beautiful in color due to the thinly sliced lemon (with lemon peel).

Apple Preserves
Makes: About six 8-ounce jars
(I had enough preserves for twelve 4 oz jars and one 8 oz jar)


The recipe for these apple preserves is from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.  I just got this book and I've already fallen in love with it! I've placed post-it notes on all the jams, butters, pickles, etc. that I plan to can over the next year.  My poor boyfriend is wondering how I'll have time for him.  I just remind him of all the wonderful jams and jellies (not to mention bread) that he gets to taste test for me.  That usually helps!  





Ingredients:
  • 6 cups sliced cored peeled apples (I used a combination of Mutsu and Cameo apples.) 
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 package (1.75 oz) regular powdered fruit pectin
  • 1 medium lemon (unpeeled), seeded and thinly sliced
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg (See the dark flecks in the jar in the photo? That's nutmeg!)

Directions:

Prepare the canner, jars and lids.  In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine apples, water and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat, cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.



Remove from heat and whisk in pectin until dissolved.  Return to high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.



Add lemon slices, sugar and nutmeg.  Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.


 

Remove from heat and skim off any foam.



Ladle hot preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot preserves.  Wipe rim clean.



Center lid on jar.  Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
 


Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process 10 minutes.  Atlanta is a little bit above 1,000 altitude and according to the chart, I need to process the jars 5 minutes more.  So I processed them in the water bath for 15 minutes rather than 10.

Remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.




 

Canning Resources:

In addition to the Ball Book on Canning, I've been using some sites as a reference in my canning adventures.  You might enjoy them as well:
 
I also enjoying using the resources in the book: Keeping The Harvest: Discover the Homegrown Goodness of Putting Up Your Own Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs by Nancy Chioff & Gretchen Mead.
 
Here are some delicious breads that would go well with this jam!

 

Happy Canning & Baking!
Cathy

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