Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cathy's Apple Ginger Pie Jam

Here's how I turned a piece of toast into a slice of Apple Pie.  I put all the flavors that make Apple Pie filling so warming, so homey, so classic into a jam.
Apples are around a good part of the year, but Autumn is when they really take the stage.  It starts with an apple for the teacher,then bobbing for apples at the Halloween Festival, Apple tarts at bake sales and finally going on trips to pick apples at a nearby orchard.
Apples are key to good jam making because of the high level of natural pectin.  In my recipe, I even boil the apple peelings first just to get the most pectin and flavor right from the start.
I like jams with real pieces of fruit still there for munching and texture.  This jam has little apples pieces preserved with tiny bites of candied ginger and the toasty warmth of cinnamon all through it.  

Watch for a monthly post here on canning and preserving various products as a part of "Can It Up".  Then you can click over to All Four Burners and see a round-up of many unique and inspiring ways to also preserve each month's product choice.  This month is Apples, so I created an Apple Ginger Pie experience in a jar, and you can too.
Recipe:  Cathy's Apple Ginger Pie Jam

5 cups Apples - about 6-7 peeled and chopped (save the peelings)

1 Lemon (zest and juice)
1/3 cup Chopped Candied Ginger
1/4 cup raisins *optional
1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (or 1/2 tsp Cinnamon + 1/4 tsp each Nutmeg & Cloves)
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
3 1/2 cup Sugar

1)  Put the peelings in a large saucepan with 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.  Drain and reserve the apple water.

2)  In a large, deep pot add the Apples, lemon juice and zest, chopped ginger, raisins, spice and the reserved Apple Water.  Stir on Low Heat just til warm.

3)  Add both sugars and stir on Low heat until sugars are dissolved.

4) Increase the heat to Med/High and bring to a boil.  Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until a jam consistency is achieved: 
     A) Test to see if the jam maintains a gel by spooning just a
     bit on a chilled plate.
     B) Or, allow the temperature of the jam to reach 220F
     C) Or, check to see the liquid on the wooden spoon is thick and
     2 drops hang on the edges and move into one drop.

5)  Carefully pour the jam into sterilized jars, seal and finish in a canning water bath (click here for info) for 8 minutes.  Remove to a rack and allow to cool. Once opened, jam should be refrigerated.

**If preparing for "Refrigerator only" the canning bath is not needed.  Simply allow the filled and capped jars to cool and keep in refrigerator.

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