Sunday, November 6, 2011

Making Apple Jam

Nowadays, with ease of storage and transportation, apples are found year round. But much of the time they are not particularly tasty and are often expensive (as they are imported). October is a narrow window (spilling into parts of September and November) when we get fresh hill apples, from Simla and Kinnar. There are two or three varieties, a deep red and a couple of goldens, all crisp and delicious. And so, we are inundated with apples at the moment - apples for breakfast, apple salads for lunch, apple pies and tarts at other times, and still those apples remain, in eye catching piles. Inevitably, my thoughts turn to jam.

Apple jam has a pleasantly old fashioned ring to it and I turned to my trusty 'Cookery Year' to search for the recipe. Sure enough it was there - laced with lemon juice, lemon rind and fresh ginger. And so about a kilo and a half of golden apples were transformed into three very full bottles of jam yesterday.

The method is the usual - cooking to thicken the fruit, adding sugar and letting it cook till setting point. Apples are high in pectin, so this jam is fairly simple to make. Indian apples are not very tart; I needed to cut down considerably on the recommended quantity of sugar. The jam changed colour after adding the sugar - I enjoy this step the most as the colour and texture acquire a certain depth at this time. The mixture eventually turned out to be a lovely amber colour. It now sits in the fridge and I think it should be easy to use - not just as jam but as fillings for tarts and toppings for cakes.

In between I was busy cooking dinner, slicing and frying some brinjal (aubergine), the slices look pretty so I'm adding their picture as well!

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