Apple Ginger Jam & How To Can


For the holidays, I made and canned apple ginger jam for my family, inspired by my friend Kim and a canning class we took from Marisa McClellan, cookbook author of Food in Jars (based on her blog of the same name), at the Brooklyn Kitchen. After the class (which included a copy of Food in Jars), we made a date to embark on our first canning expedition!

I’ve made jam to eat right away, but for some reason, the act of canning always seemed daunting to me. After doing it for the first time though, I realize it’s all about the details and a few simple tools, which are not that hard to come by.Now, I’ll definitely think twice before buying a jar of jam again because for one, it’s really fun to make (my jamming partner had something to do with that;) and two, it’s way easier than you think it’s going to be. That’s also not to mention how satisfying it is to share jam you’ve made with someone you love. I gave a jar to my grandmother when I was in Delhi this winter, and to see her smile after having her first taste made me want to explode!

Kim and I picked out a recipe from Food in Jars using a fruit in season. In winter in NY, that means apples or pears. At the Fort Greene farmer’s market, I picked up some Golden Delicious and Jonagolds, which the farmer recommended for making jam. Jonagolds are actually a hybrid of Golden Delicious and Jonathan apples, which are pinkish, red.

Golden Delicious and Jonagolds

The recipe only has a few ingredients: apples, lemon zest and juice, sugar and honey, and we adapted it to our taste with less sugar and some ginger mixed in.

I’m going to take you through the process of canning below in pictures and then the exact recipe will be below. Kim had a canning set, which we used, and I recommend getting (especially if you want to can jars for other people and not fear for their safety:).

The first step is boiling your jars without lids (mason jars work best for sealing later) on top of a rack in a large pot with enough water to cover them.

How To Can

 

Take out the jars from the pot with tongs, pouring water back into the pot.  You can just place them on a clean kitchen towel and they will air dry.

How to Can

 

Cover your lids with water and simmer them in a small saucepan.  The canning set comes with this magnetic wand that you can use to pick up the lids to dry on a cloth.  Thank you for the beautiful hand modeling Kim!

How To Can

Peel your apples.

 

How To Can Apple Ginger Jam

Core and chop your apples.

How To Can Apple Ginger Jam

Cook apples and lemon juice at medium until they simmer, and then turn the heat to medium-low for 20-30 minutes.  Stir the apples frequently and mash them down with a spoon and a potato masher at the end of the cooking time.

How To Can Apple Ginger Jam

 

Once the apples are soft, mix the sugar, honey and ginger in.

 

How To Can Apple Ginger Jam

 

How To Can Apple Ginger Jam

 

Bring to a simmer under medium-high flame and cook for 10 minutes.  The jam gets splashy so watch out!
Turn the heat off and mix in the lemon zest at this point.

 

How To Can Apple Ginger Jam
Carefully fill jars with the jam using a wide-mouth funnel, with 1/4 inch space left between the surface of the jam and the top of the jar. In the class, we learned this is called headspace.

 

How To Can Apple Ginger Jam

The canning kit comes with this plastic wand thing that you can use to make sure that there are no air bubbles present in the jam before you close the lid. Kim found this post on the Food in Jars website for why this step is important.

 

How To Can Apple Ginger Jam

 

How To Can Apple Ginger Jam

 

Next you should wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp towel.

With the magnetic wand, place the clean, dry lids on the top of the jars.

How To Can Apple Ginger Jam

Screw on the rings on with the tips of your fingers to ensure that they aren’t overly tight. We learned this is called “fingertip tight.”

How To Can Apple Ginger Jam

 

How To Can Apple Ginger Jam

 

With the tongs, place the closed cans back in the water pot on top of the rack.  You may have to jiggle the last one to get them all in there.

 

How To Can Apple Ginger Jam

Bring the water to a boil and leave the cans in there for 10 minutes.

 

How To Can Apple Ginger Jam

Place the jars on a clean towel to cool.  At this point, the jar lids start to ping, which is the sound of the seals forming.  This was definitely one of the highlights of the whole experience.

How To Can Apple Ginger Jam

After the jars have cooled for 24 hours, remove the bands and check that the seals have formed. According to Marissa, once you have determined the seals are good to go, you can store the jars in a cool, dark place with the rings off for up to a year.  If you do have some cans that did not seal well, you can store them in your fridge for consuming within the next 2 weeks.

Since I was gifting mine, I cut out some leftover cloth that I had and put it between the lid and rings like this.

 

How To Can Apple Ginger Jam

 

Thanks to Marisa McClellan for teaching a class that makes canning so accessible.  You can read more about canning and get more jamming recipes in her book.  And thanks to my friend Kim for being my most awesome canning partner!

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07286828376869181360 Srivalli

    Wow that’s really so well explained and such a lengthy process..:)..this surely requires loads of patience!