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This apple pie jam recipe is seriously the next best thing to apple pie filling. Except, dare I say it, maybe better because one can smear it on just about anything and not have to wait for said apple pie to bake? Okay, dare accepted, I said it. Seriously, apple pie jam is my new… jam.I first came across this recipe in the Ball Complete Book of Home Canning but you guys, 9 cups of sugar to 6 cups of apples, we don't have to be a math major but that is just wrong. There should never be more sugar than fruit, really, there should never be as much sugar as fruit either. Good news, I did the alterations and now you can have your apple pie jam and eat it too, without the loads of sugar. One of the beautiful things about Pomona's Pectin (and no, they've never paid me a dime or sent me free product, but if they're reading this, I'm totally game) is it doesn't require copious amounts of sugar to set like traditional pectin. It also doesn't have a lot of questionable ingredients like many brands that are derived from highly GMO crops. Pomona's website states it's made from dried citrus peels, not corn or apples, and is GMO free. My other favorite part, I can do multiple batches of jam from one box of pectin and I can make them low sugar or sugar free (yep, totally true) because Pomona Pectin uses calcium water to get the set, not sugar.
Peel, core, and chop up 8 cup of apples. I prefer to use a sweet apple so I don't need to add as much sugar. My favorite apple for baking and cooking is a Gravenstein and that's what you see featured here. Place it in a big old stainless steel pot and add 8 Tablespoons bottled lemon juice and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes until apples are soft. Add 4 teaspoons of calcium water (comes in the Pomona Pectin and activates the pectin). Boil for 1 more minute. Add your spices and the sugar mixed with the powdered pectin. Return to a boil and stir constantly (because burnt sugar is so not wanted here) for 2 minutes. You'll see and feel the mixture start to thicken up. Take it off the heat. Pour into clean canning jars to a 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and add more jam if needed to keep the headspace. Place in a water bath canner, making sure the water level is 1 inch above the surface of the jars and process jars for 10 minutes. Remember, don't start your time until the water is at a full boil. Turn off heat and remove the canner lid, after 5 minutes remove jars to a towel covered counter top and let cool. Check seals after 24 hours, remove bands and wipe down the surface of the jars and store in the pantry. While I've already made 4 batches of this darling (if you're on my Christmas list, maybe only make 1 batch as I've got ya covered) I still have quarts of this true home canned apple pie filling recipe because a girl can never have too many Mason jars filled with food on her shelf… or too many apple pies, right?
You can use 3/4 cup of finely chopped dried cranberries. Add them with the calcium water and spices.
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.