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Apple Pie Jam: It’s Worth It

Oct 13, 2016

I fill a basket with the first ripe tomatoes of the season, pull a couple onions and some garlic, and snip basil to simmer all together into a flavorful sauce that will be jarred for winter. I cheer.

I pick a large bowl full of green beans and carefully watch the pressure gauge on the canner as they process. I feel like doing cartwheels.

Friends bring fresh peaches to the area, and cases are preserved. I laugh at my fortune.

More tomatoes roll in, and homemade soup soon lines my basement shelves. I am blessed.

Cucumbers mature and are bathed in jars of brine for crisp and delicious pickles. I smile.

Sweet corn ripens, is harvested, and cut from the cob to be frozen. I am happy.

Herbs become destined for the dehydrator. I can taste the difference this will make in our winter meals.

Yet more tomatoes come into the kitchen in 5-gallon buckets and are processed into salsa. My skin is so gloriously radiant from standing over the constant steaming cauldron of the hot water bath.

Tomatillos and green chiles are stirred together and pureed. Green jars join the red pints on the shelves. I snap a photo.

More tomatoes. More sauces. I am wearing down, but have calculated how many meals I will serve for shearing in the spring and know this is a huge help.

A freeze is possible and many peppers find their way into my kitchen to avoid the chill. The tedious process of roasting and peeling and seeding is so worth the amazing flavor.

Beets are pickled. Those holiday relish trays will be so amazing.

More tomatoes. Pureed. More red jars. Groan.

More tomatoes. Juice. Quarts this time. Sigh.

My large enamel pot for hot water bathing is a permanent fixture on my stove top, and the kitchen table hasn’t been free of Ball jars since late July. Eye roll.

A friend asks how gardening and preserving is going, and I can’t even fake enthusiasm. I am tired.

I declare that I am done. Finished. No more canning for the year. The rest of the produce can find another home.

But then, another friend calls and asks if I want some apples. I take a deep breath and accept. I cannot resist. Apple Pie Jam will be worth it. It always is.


Tired of canning? Apple pie jam will get you through one more round.

Apple Pie Jam

4 cups tart apples, chopped (I do not peel.)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1 box (1.75 ounces) dry pectin

3 cups sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon butter


Measure chopped apples in a large measuring cup. With apples in cup, add water to the 4-cup line. (This amounts to about 3/4 to 1 cup of water.)

Pour into a heavy pan and add lemon juice, spices and pectin. Stir to combine.

Bring to a boil.

Add sugars and butter and bring back to a full, rolling boil. Boil 1 minute.

Remove from heat and skim off any foam.

Ladle into sterilized jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace.

Seal with rings and lids and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. (Yields 3 pints. I like to use 1/4-pint jars for jams and jellies.)


Fran Hill has been blogging about food at On My Plate since October of 2006. She, her husband and their three dogs ranch near Colome.

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