We had some friends visiting last week, so we decided to take a little trip to an apple orchard about an hour from us called All Seasons Orchard for some apple picking and playtime for the kids. We had such a blast and came home with a ton of apples! Each of us got a “half peck” of apples with our admission…which means we had 4 big bags of gala, liberty, and honey crisp apples that we had to figure what to do with so they didn’t go bad. Time to browse for a jam recipe!
This Caramel Apple Jam used up the bag of liberty apples, and it was sooooo yummy! It has a very nice caramel flavor and the tart liberty apples keep it tasting fresh and crisp. It’s a little more labor intensive than some jams because you have to make a caramel, too. But it was totally worth it! Be sure to read through all the directions before you begin as you will be doing several steps simultaneously.
Follow standard canning practices to sterilize your jars and lids. You can find my complete, picture tutorial on canning here: Canning Instructions.
In a large pot, combine apples, 1/2 cup of water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until apples are very tender, stirring occasionally. Press apples through a strainer or food mill until you have 5 cups of pulp, discard skins. You could also skin the apples first, cook them, and then process them in a food processor to get the same smooth texture.
While your apples are cooking, pour the granulated sugar into a heavy sauce pan. Heat over medium-high heat until sugar begins to melt, shaking the pot every once in a while. When the sugar begins to melt, reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until all of the sugar is melted and golden, stirring often with wooden spoon. Remove from heat, carefully stir in 3/4 cup hot water. The caramel will get hard and splatter. Return to heat and stir constantly over medium heat until all of the caramel is melted again.
Place apple pulp back into large pot and carefully pour in the caramel, which may seize up and become hard again. Add brown sugar. Cook over medium heat until sugar and caramel are dissolved, stirring constantly. Return to boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Stir in the butter and vanilla until well incorporated.
Ladle the hot jam into HOT, sterile jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe jar rims. Place sterile lids and rings on. Tighten rings, then process in boiling water for 10 minutes. Again, you can find detailed instructions including pictures on this portion of the canning process here: Canning Instructions.
Remove jars and let cool over night on wire racks. Makes approximately 6 half pints.
*Recipe Adapated from the 2013 issue of Canning.