“As apples vary very much in quality and different varieties it is advisable to choose sharp cooking apples, and not desert ones for this jam. It is a matter of personal taste whether the apples are peeled, cored and sliced and not sieved after cooking or they can be cooked without peeling and coring, and sieved after cooking. There is little advantage in the time taken by either method, but the latter has the advantage that the cores and rind contain a good deal of pectin, the natural jellying substance in fruit.” from Economical Cookery.
This is excellent advice and something to think on when making jams. Very often we are too eager to rid the fruit of what we would call the waste part, skins and core etc. By cooking the whole fruit and sieving after we can gain something in our jams, extra flavour and extra setting ability.
If you are new to jam making you might want to read this post Jam And Preserve Making first, as it fully explains the main principles you will need to understand to make great home-made jams and preserves. And in this post there are over 30 great Jam and Preserve recipes: Victorian Jam And Preserves.
HOW TO TEST THE JAM WILL SET
Many recipes just say ‘boil until the jam sets when tried or tested’ experienced jam makers know exactly what this means: Spoon a little of the boiled preserve on to a cold plate, leave to cool for one minute, then push the preserve with a finger, if it has reached the setting point the top of the preserve should wrinkle with a skin. Using a thermometer: Jams and marmalade’s reach a setting point once they have been boiled at 105C / 220F for 10 to 15 minutes.
Apple Jam Recipe
- 2.7 kg sharp cooking apples
- 2.2 kg sugar
- 1.1 litres of water
- 3 lemons (juice and rind only)
- 5 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- handful of loganberries
First method: Wash the apples, remove the stalks, slice coarsely without peeling or coring. Put into a preserving pan with the lemon juice and lemon rind, cloves and cinnamon stick and water, (and the loganberries if desired, these improve the colour and taste) and cook until the apples are very tender and reduced to a pulp. Rub through a sieve. Put the sieved pulp back into the cleaned preserving pan and add the sugar. Bring to the boil slowly, then simmer rapidly for 10 minutes. Test for setting on a cold plate. When the apple jam sets, pot immediately into hot sterilised jars and seal.
Second method: Peel, core and slice the apples. Put the sliced apples into a preserving pan with the water, cinnamon stick, cloves, lemon juice and rind, (and the loganberries if desired, these improve the colour and taste) and simmer until the apples are tender. Add the sugar, stir whilst it is coming to the boil, and boil hard for 10 minutes, then test for ‘jelly’. Continue to boil until the jam sets and is firm when placed on a cold saucer. Remove the cinnamon stick and cloves (to make this easier put them in a small, tied muslin bag before adding to the jam) – pot and seal the apple jam in hot sterilized jars.