Thursday, January 12, 2012

Apple Ginger Jam

A couple of years ago a friend of mine got me interested in making homemade jam, and this is her recipe for apple/ginger jam. I do not do it because of any dietary needs. I do it for the sole reason that I enjoy it, and it tastes great. I send different ones to family during the holidays and like to have it on hand to give as gifts if we we go to someone's house for a get together and things like that.  This particular recipe when I made it last night made 64 ounces and I used a combination of 8oz and 4 oz jars. If you are new to canning I suggest looking at a "how to" type instruction on it. The Ball Blue Book guide to preserving has a good beginners section at the front of it.
I also suggest getting a canning utensil set, which includes a jar funnel, jar lifter, lid lifter, and bubble remover. I picked mine up at Walmart. I do not have my bubble remover anymore but you can use a non metallic spatula too. Then I already had a metal ladle which is what I use for pouring the jam into the jars.

Decide which jars you want to use and wash in hot soapy water. Heat them in the boiling water canner. I usually toss them in the canner and fill it with enough water to cover the jars before I start the jam prep, I turn the heat on and keep the water simmering until I am ready to use them.
Ingredients you will need

1 cup grated peeled ginger root (this is the most tedious part I think)
5-6 large apples (tart-sweet crisp ones such as Prima or Jonagold)
2 cups water
6 cups sugar
1 tsp powdered ginger (optional, I have never used it  when making recipe)
some chopped crystallized ginger (I used 1/2 cup last time, found at my local grocery store in the natural bulk food section, if not at your grocery store try an Asian or international food store)

For preparing the ginger my friend suggested using a microplane zester but I did not have one and just used a regular grater.

 If you do a lot of cooking with apples, I found these nifty gadgets to but quite useful, apple peeler and core/slicer.
I did still cut the apples into smaller pieces than this though, just to make it easier later.

Add everything but the sugar and crystallized ginger to a stainless steel pot and cook for about 20 minutes covered on medium heat, until the apples are soft enough to mash. When they are soft enough to mash either mash it all up or if you have an immersion blender, I find that to be easier. The metal immersion blenders are preferable but again I already had this one and am too cheap to go buy another. You are desiring for it to be an applesauce consistency.

Now add the sugar and cook until it is dissolved, then bring to a boil, stirring periodically.

Note: it is during this stage while I am waiting for the mixture to boil that I take out the jars/lids from the canner and set them on a dishtowel on the counter right next to the burner the mixture is on. Leave the heat on the canner with water continuing to boil.

Boil hard for at least one minute. This is a very important step not to skimp on. If you do not get it to a good hard boil for at least one minute the jam will not set well and will be soupy. Yes this happened to me. I used to have a glass stove top and could not for the life of me get the mixture to boil hard enough and would end up having to use pectin which for this recipe I do not like to do. The one soupy batch I ended up using as a chutney and would pour it over cream cheese and eat with crackers but would have rather have gotten it right the first time. Once you have boiled it hard for one minute try to skim the foam off the top the best you can.

Remove jam mixture from heat and add the crystallized ginger.

Then funnel into hot prepared jars. Leave about a 1/4 inch headspace. Remove the air bubbles with a nonmetallic spatula, just running it around against the glass on the inside a few times. Using a damp paper towel or cloth wipe off the rims of the jars. Place the lids on the jars only tightening to finger tight. Place jars inside the canner and process. Place lid on canner and bring water to a rolling boil. Then let process for about 15 minutes.  After processed place on counter where they can remain about 24 hours to set. When they first come out of the canner I listen for the pops on all of the jars, it may take a few minutes, if one does not pop it means it did not seal. It does not mean the jam is bad but once cooled the unsealed one should go in the fridge and be eaten first.

There you have it, Apple Ginger Jam! It looks more complicated than it actually is and after you have done it a couple times it seems like no big deal. There are several different kinds of jam I make and always have fun doing it.

1 comment:

  1. I may just have to give jam-making a try! You make it sound easy enough that even I might be able to do it! This recipe looks delicious.