Caramel Apple Jam
OMG, you have to try this:
I made it today. It didn’t go entirely smoothly–even though I left the skin on the apples when I cooked them into applesauce, and boiled the heck out of the jam and it passed the wrinkle test and everything, it didn’t quite “set up” right…at least not yet. But who cares, when something tastes this good? Slightly runny deliciousness instead of set jammy deliciousness.
I didn’t have a vanilla bean, and I didn’t have rum, so at the end of the recipe I used brandy instead, with a couple of teaspoons of vanilla extract. The stuff is almost frighteningly sweet, and I think next time I might try it with added pectin and thus less added sugar, but still, wow, is this stuff amazing!
UPDATE: a few years later I tried this again, using Pomona’s Pectin, the stuff that doesn’t require much or any sugar for jelling (it’s what I found at Whole Foods one day, and since then I don’t use anything else). I cut the sugar to be caramelized down to about 1 1/2 cups and then only added an additional cup of brown sugar later in the recipe (but my applesauce was slightly sweetened to begin with), and of course I blew off the vanilla bean and used extract instead. And used essentially the Pomona’s recipe on the box for the jam process, which avoids all the splattery scariness reported by the original blogger who made this recipe and who had to cook it down to jam consistency. This version was, in my opinion, much tastier because you really got the apple flavors and weren’t overpowered by the sugar. For what it’s worth! (Then later I made another even easier version, skipping the caramelizing process entirely and using all brown sugar, and it was honestly just as good…I probably won’t ever use the original recipe again, realistically. Just use the directions on the Pomona’s box for 4 cups of pureed fruit, in this case pre-made applesauce, use brown sugar instead of white, add a splash of vanilla and a few tbs dark or spiced rum and a little lemon juice, and you’re pretty much all set!) (No pun intended;-) )