Make Ahead

Caramelized AppleĀ Jam

November  7, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes 6 to 8 half pint jars of jam
Author Notes

This jam is delicious on ice cream, any kind of bread or loaf, and as a savory spread for pork or a ham sandwich. I was seeking a flavor that evoked caramel apples more than an apple pie, and the double use of caramel does the job. My daughter makes a jam that requires many more steps, such as steeping the cores and peels and using the liquid to layer the flavor, but I like the layered doses of caramel and the ease with which this jam is prepared. —Bevi

What You'll Need
  • 12 nice sized apples - a firm variety such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Cripps, peeled, cored, and chopped into I" pieces - about 7 cups
  • 6 to 7 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more as you like
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups fresh apple cider
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • seed from 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 tablespoons Calvados (OPTIONAL)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 6 half pint jam jars, with lids and screw tops, properly sterilized
  1. NOTE: I make sure that I have assembled all my ingredients before I begin cooking the jam. Working with caramel requires full concentration, and it is best to have all ingredients ready. Place the lemon juice in a large bowl. Peel, core and chop 3 apples at a time and thoroughly mix them into the lemon juice until all the apples are prepared and covered with lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
  2. In a very large jam pot or enamel Dutch oven, place 2 and 1/2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup of the cider over a medium high flame. Stir constantly to dissolve the sugar, and continue cooking to boiling. Reduce the heat and continue to stir, producing a light caramel colored syrup. This will take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. I usually need 10 minutes.
  3. Immediately add the apples, the rest of the cider, the apple cider vinegar, and the honey to the jam pot. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, and skim the film that rises to the top with a spoon, then reduce the heat, add the seed from the vanilla bean, (if you want to add Calvados, do so now), and cook, stirring often, for about 30 minutes. Keep the mixture simmering. The apples will retain their shape. throughout the cooking process, but become soft.
  4. After the apples have cooked for 25 minutes, put the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and a tablespoon of water in a 2 or 3 quart saucepan over medium high heat. Stirring constantly, make a much darker caramel syrup - quite brown in color, being careful to not burn yourself as you prepare the caramel syrup. It may take less time for this batch of syrup to become darker. Pour this syrup immediately into the apple mixture, and stir the mixture well. Don't worry if the caramel seizes a bit - keep stirring and the caramel with soften and meld with the apple mixture. Allow to cook for another 15 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Depending on the apples you use, some of the chopped apples make break down towards the end of the cooking process. If that is NOT the case, take a potato masher, and smash about 50% of the apples in the mixture - retaining some pieces for chunkiness, but allowing half of the mixture to take on a jam-like texture. At this point, almost all liquid should be evaporated.
  6. Fill jam jars, making sure that you pack the jam well, and process in a hot water bath according to your preferred instructions. I process for 15 minutes. Take out of the hot water bath, wait for the "ping" sound that indicates that the jams are sealed, and allow jams to sit for a day. Any jam that does not have a secure seal should be placed in the refrigerator.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lapadia
  • AntoniaJames
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • Bevi

Recipe by: Bevi

Cooking is an important part of my past. I grew up and worked on our family resort. These days, I cook good food to please my friends and family.

15 Reviews

Nancy M. September 23, 2018
Is it necessary to use the canning process for this jam? Would it work to just cook it per the recipe and store it in the refrigerator without the water bath?
Bevi September 23, 2018
You can do that but the shelf life will be shortened considerably. A water bath will give you one year, whereas refrigeration only gives the jam a life of 3 to 6 months, according to sites I have googled.
lapadia November 3, 2012
Love this, yum, mouthwatering!
Bevi November 15, 2013
Stay close to the mail box!
lapadia November 15, 2013
HA...a year later :)
AntoniaJames January 4, 2012
So delicious! We love this jam. I used some in TheRunawaySpoon's Fig and Blue Cheese Savouries, as I ran out of fig jam. Outstanding! Thank you, Bevi. ;o)
Bevi January 4, 2012
I am so glad you love it! Happy New Year!
TheWimpyVegetarian November 8, 2011
For some reason, this page won't let me reply to anyone - but wanted to add a note to sdebrango - I love your idea of adding a little of apple or pear jam to an apple pie filling. GENIUS idea!!
TheWimpyVegetarian November 8, 2011
Oh wow - this looks fabulous!! I have a bunch of apples this will be PERFECT for. I can't wait to make it!
Bevi November 8, 2011
Thanks ChezSuzanne! I just went outside with my favorite new toy - my apple picker - and gathered more apples for another batch. My neighbors are kind to recycle the jars back to me.
TheWimpyVegetarian November 8, 2011
I would get so much use out of having an apple tree!!
Bevi November 8, 2011
I have had lots of fun jamming this year and responding to the harvest cycles. The apple tree sits squarely in the sight line of our front door. We have enjoyed LiztheChef's Revenge of the *Apple* Crisp for over a month now. The apples are firm so they take very well to baking.
Bevi November 7, 2011
Thanks AntoniaJames! I am so glad you like the recipe.
AntoniaJames November 7, 2011
This make my mouth water just to read the recipe! Definitely going to try this. My family is going to love it. Thanks for posting this. ;o)
Bevi November 7, 2011
Thank you AntoniaJames! I used my "uglies" which are very firm and full of taste. I hope you enjoy! ;-)