On Friday, I posted a picture (below, left) of my bounty of apples, peaches and tomatoes on Facebook. Thanks to the hard work of my super-peeling-chopping-little-helpers (AKA the hubby and the kids,) I was able to post a photo, on Saturday, of the table full of goodies (below, right) we ended up making.
(Here’s a quick pic of my helpers chopping peaches! I think they deserve major props for doing so much work without complaining! Thanks, my loves!)
One of the things I made, and promised I’d post the recipe for, was Apple-Maple Jam. It is quite high in sweeteners, but oh sooooo good for a tasty little treat! It resembles a sweet apple pie filling. The recipe came from my Ball Blue Book of Preserving which is pretty much one of the most useful books I’ve ever owned. My copy is worn thin and covered with lemon juice and tomato splotches, and when it falls apart beyond repair, I’m just going to turn around and buy an identical copy. It’s that great of a book!
Because this recipe uses no pectin, you’ll need to cook it longer until it reaches gelling point. Here is a great little post on gel point that I found by doing a quick internet search, in case anyone would like to read further information on the topic: Testing For Gel Point When You Don’t Use Pectin.
Since this was the first time I made this recipe, I followed the directions almost exactly. However, next time, I’d like to try reducing the sugar by at least a cup or two and see if it sets up just as well. For now though, here is the recipe in its entirety, as per Ball Blue Book of Preserving‘s directions:
- 3 quarts of peeled, cored, chopped apples (about 6 lbs)
- 6 cups of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1 cup maple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepot. Bring slowly to a boil; cook rapidly to a gelling point, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from heat, ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process 10 minutes by water bath.
*Notes: I dropped the amount of nutmeg to 1/4 tsp and added 1/4 tsp ginger. This was just for personal taste preference – I love ginger! This recipe made 11 half pint jars for me.
Some other things I made with our apples included: Fruit Roll Ups, Unsweetened Applesauce (Ginger Gold apples are my favorite for this!) and Old Fashioned Crumb Topped Apple Pies – a yummy recipe that I found in one of my mom’s old cookbooks, long ago. I also made peach jam, roasted garlic & tomato sauce and two types of salsas, among other things. I hope to get more of the recipes I made posted as the week goes on!