When I got apples again I knew immediately that I was going to make some preserves out of them. I found this recipe on Bon Apetit and went for it. I kept the apple pieces bigger than what the recipe called for because I thought it would be prettier. I think that was a good call. I also added some fresh ginger, since I had some leftover. The result was a simple, caramel flavored apple treat that became the crowning glory of my pancakes.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 lbs. apples (preferably of mixed variety), peeled, cored, cut into 3/4” chunks
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped (optional)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Bring sugar and 3 Tbsp. water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil, swirling pan occasionally and brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush, until mixture turns a deep amber color, about 4 minutes. Add apples and vanilla bean (if using) and stir to coat. Some of the caramel will seize, but that’s okay because it’s just going to melt down again.
If you are feeling saucy and want to add spices like cinnamon sticks, ground clove, or fresh grated ginger, this would be a good time. Reduce heat to medium and stir occasionally to help the apples cook evenly and dissolve any pieces of caramel.
Continue to cook until apples are translucent and softened (some apples will hold their shape, but should still be softened), and most of the liquid has evaporated, 20–25 minutes. Add lemon juice and stir to combine. I like to break up any stubborn pieces of apple with a wooden spoon, but you can keep yours super chunky if you’re into that sort of thing. Discard vanilla bean and store apple jam in a glass jar or container in the fridge for up to one month.
There is one missing ingredient for anyone who is paying attention. The diakon radish. It’s still in my crisper but I seriously doubt it’s still crisp. What the hell should I do with it?