Grab a sack of Apples and a sauce pan
Is there a reason why this stuff doesn’t exist anywhere? Supermarkets seem hard pressed to stock unadulterated apple jam. I came across every jam, preserve, and their mother: strawberry, black cherry, imperial pear, fig royale, and even black currant! I am the weirdo who doesn’t like apple butter, so I did what I do best: grab a sack of apples and a sauce pan.
With fall poking its head around the corner, it’s exciting to see the varieties of apples available. This is the season for the Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, McIntosh, and Granny Smith apples. I urge you to find your favorite apple because that’s the one you’ll want in your jam. When they’re in season, there are also heirloom varieties such as Ashmead’s Kernel (love this one), Gravenstein, and Lady; to me, heirloom apples have more complex flavors that truly shine in jams and pies; quite frankly, they don’t need any kind of cinnamon or spice. Their skins also create a jam with lots of color.
For the sake of this homemade jam, however, I used Pink Lady Apples, which are my personal favorite (sorry Honeycrisp fans). To me, these apples are crunchy, slightly tart, and just sweet enough to not be overpowering. Cosmetically, I also think they’re the best looking with their “tie-dye” skin of gold, lime, and pinkish crimson.
The recipe for this jam is simple, using two large apples, demerara sugar, and a little lemon juice for tart and freshness. You can easily substitute demerara sugar for granulated sugar, cane sugar, date sugar, or any other sugar. I used demerara for its slight molasses flavor and deep amber color, but it’s completely optional.
Slather it on some toast, a bagel, or eat it straight out the jar. Or, you can try it as a cupcake filling!
- 2 Apples (300g) Finely cut into cubes. I used Pink Lady, but use your favorite.
- 1 Cup (225g) Demerara Sugar (or any other granulated sugar)
- 2 TBSP (30g) Lemon Juice
Place all of your finely cut apples, sugar, and lemon juice into a medium sauce pan and stir it until well combined.
Cook the sugar and apples on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for 25 minutes. Eventually, the jam will develop more liquid and take on a syrupy consistency.
Once the apples are almost translucent and a thin syrup develops, the jam is ready. Cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes if needed, but do not overcook or else you will have a thick, goopy, jam that is tough to eat.
If you do happen to overcook the jam, simply turn off the heat and stir in up to 3 tablespoons of water to loosen the jam.
Place the jam in a glass or heat resistant jar and let it cool completely while uncovered.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before slathering on your toast.
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