Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Fabulous Chunky Apple Jam

Jams are a tricky thing.. they can turn out wonderfully luxurious, like this one Alhamdolillah.. or they can be a disaster, as my poor family remembers only too well 

The trickiest part of it, as far as I am concerned, is the question, 'is it done?' .. well unless you have a jam thermometer or some such thing.. you'll have to rely on your common sense.. 

First the recipe, then I'll tell u about the common sense 

Remember to use the SAME bowl for water, sugar and apples. It can be as per your wish, large or small..

So this made 3 Horlicks bottles full .. and a teeny bit left over.

As follows:

First prepare the bottles:
Set a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling, add washed clean bottles and their lids to it. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the bottles with a tong (chimta) and set on a CLEAN DRY cloth. Cover.

Now the jam:

7 to 8 small apples
(core and chop, no need to peel, in the machine. It should look shredded and make 6 bowls/cups)
4 to cups of sugar - 4 and a half is the ideal sweetness for me.. but thats as per your taste. You can go half half with white and brown sugar.. or all brown sugar.. entirely up to you
1 to 2 tsp cinnamon powder, as per your taste
1 tblsp butter
Zest and juice of 2 small limes or a small lemon
1 cup water

- Mix the water with half the lemon juice and butter
- Add the shredded apples to it and bring to a rolling boil
-As soon as the mix starts to boil. about 5 minutes, add the rest lemon, cinnamon and all sugar
- Bring to a rolling boil once again.. and let it keep cooking.. on medium heat
- Keep stirring.. you dont want it to burn. Wear oven mittens if you like, it can jump around a bit.. I didnt though, cant be bothered 
- In 7 to 10 minutes the jam should be thick enough. Do the test (described below) - and remove from heat.
- Fill the bottles and screw on the lids but not completely closed.. leave them a tad open..

Now, water bath:

Set a medium sized pot on the stove. Place the jars carefully - they will be hot! - in the pot. The pot must be small enough for the jars not to bang against each other but not so big that they fall around..

Carefully pour in enough water to reach to 3/4 of the bottle. Turn heat on. The water should boil and bubble.. once that happens, reduce heat and semi cover. Let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Turn off heat and carefully pick out bottles. You can leave them there until they cool if youre not happy picking up hot bottles like this..

The lid should have closed with vacuum. If not, nevermind, just screw it tight and once the bottles are cool, put them in the fridge..

Enjoy with whatever you want. Yes there is a lot of sugar in here. But when you read the ingredients list on the commercial jams, I still think this one is better. Its clean, I know EXACTLY what went into it.. no preservatives, no chemicals, no additives, no nothing. Besides, jam is used sparingly anyway.. no need to gobble by the cupful 

The Test:
Place a plate in the fridge for 10 mins. Once you think the jam is done, put a small bit on the plate and put it back in the fridge for a few minutes. Remove - run a finger in the jam. If it leads a trail and doesnt fall back in or is too runny, its done.

Do give it this jam a try. InshaAllah I am sure you will like it.. and inspite of the sugar content, I still maintain that it IS healthier than the store-bought version..

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