Gingerbread Jam (Maria's Recipe)
- 4 pounds apples (I used 4 Granny Smiths, 3 Ginger Golds, & 1 Honey Crisp)
Add the spices -
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (use 1/4 teaspoon if using ground nutmeg)
Wash and quarter the apples. Do not peel the apples because you want the natural pectin in the peels! Cut out the cores. Use your food processor and shred the apples in batches.
Add the food proceeder bowl fills, dump the shredded apples into a large Dutch oven.(I use my Le Crueset one.)
As you add the shredded apples, toss them with about 1 cup of apple cider and 1/2 cup of bottled lemon juice. And do not worry if it seems like you are over filling the pan. The apple shreds will cook down.
Add 4 to 5 ginger coins at this point and 2 cinnamon sticks. You do not need to peel the ginger. I cut about a 3 inch piece of ginger and than sliced it lengthwise.
Cover the shredded apples and cook over medium heat until they start to cook down. This can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. I found it took about 30 minutes over medium heat on my stove. The apples will release a lot of juice and you really do want them to start to dissolve and cook down.
After the apples have started to cook down, start adding the sweeteners. I added a total of 1 cup of molasses in 1/2 cup increments. I allowed the mixture to come back to a simmer before the second half cup.
I combined all of my spices and added them at once.Between each addition, bring the mixture back up to a simmer.
I adding another 3/4 of a cup of white sugar after the spices. Check your apples for sweetness after adding the molasses. By using the Granny Smiths, I knew my apples would need a bit more sugar. I wanted the jam sweet but with a touch of tartness to it. I would not add more than 1 cup of sugar total.
Cook the apple mixture down until it is jammy. Or you can either use an immersion blender or transfer half of the mixture to a blend and puree it until it kind of looks like applesauce. Make sure you pick out any ginger slices and the cinnamon sticks. Bring the mixture back up to a simmer again. Taste test it to make sure you like the flavor and adjust any spices if needed.
While waiting for the mixture to come back to a simmer, mince about 1/2 cup of crystalized ginger.
Once the mixture is back to a simmer, pull it off the heat and stir in the minced crystalized ginger. Follow standard canning procedures and fill your jars with the hot mixture. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes and allow to cool. I ended up with 10 8 ounce jars total. (note: headspace for this recipe should be 1/4")