We are lucky to have several mature apple trees in the garden. Two of them are really old, and every year I send my silent thanks to whoever planted them. The old owners are long gone but the trees keep bringing pleasure to us, with the glorious blossom and bountiful harvest. This year I picked several boxes of apples, leaving more than a half on the trees, as they are too high up for me, and I am not good on the ladders. Eddie helped me to pick the windfalls, and we have been enjoying apple crumbles and cupcakes for weeks.
I love apple-based chutneys and jams, and last week made a batch of apple and orange jam.
Apple and orange jam
2kg apples (not too sweet)
1 lemon, juice and rind
2 oranges, juice and rind
1 cinnamon stick
Wash the apples and chop them without peeling. Keep all the bits, pips and all, they will be your source of pectin. In fact you don't need to use the preserving sugar or pectin at all. Juice the lemon and oranges and peel the rind. Again, don't throw the pips. Put the chopped apples in a big pan with the juice and rind, the cinnamon stick and all the bits. Pour the water and cook until the apples are very soft and resemble the chunky apple sauce.
Take a sieve and rub the apple mix through it, discard the rind, the apple skin and pips at this stage.
Pour the sieved apple sauce into a pan, add the sugar. Slowly bring to the boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes. On a small plate test a spoonful of jam for setting.
Once the jam sets, pot it into the sterilized jars.
I got over 11 different sized jars of jam. As you can see from the photos below, the jam is very thick in consistency, as I mentioned before, there was no need for any preserving sugar.
This jam is lovely in sweet pirozhki and jam tarts. Or spread thick on a slice of toast.