CARAMELIZED APPLE JAM: ORIGINAL GOURMET RECIPE

If there's anything more boring than apple sauce it's apple butter. Yuck.  One would be hard pressed to find any redemption in its murky brown depths. Its first crime is that it's not sweet. At all. On top of that, all the apple flavor has been mercilessly cooked out. Then there's that whole goody two-shoes "it's so healthy, no added sugar. And organic!"  Please. 

 

 

 

 

 

I like my jams sweet, thank you. And this recipe for Caramelized Apple Jam is just the ticket.  Fresh apple flavor shines through a loving embrace of caramelized sugar. A smidgeon of honey is added for good measure.  Fragrant tonka bean enhances but does not overpower. For those not yet on the tonka bandwagon feel free to substitute some scraped vanilla bean seeds.  Steer clear of cinnamon which will lead you down the apple pie filling path, a road better not taken here.   

 

 

 

I use a combo of tart Granny Smiths and Braeburns.  Granny holds her own, leaving nice white chunks, while the Braeburns break down and merge with the caramel. You start by caramelizing sugar with some apple juice until it's a nice light color. Then, at the end you cook up a batch of really dark caramel and pour that in. This reinforces the caramel flavor but doesn't darken the jam.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

You need fresh lemon juice to balance the sugar, support apple's natural tartness, and to keep the apples from discoloring. I add a couple of shake of Ball's Fruit Fresh for extra measure. So this apple jam recipe actually looks like apples instead of the dreaded muddy gunk of apple butter. 

 

 

 

 

 

I love that in New York diners a "toasted" corn muffin is really a corn muffin that has been sliced and fried in butter. So I "toasted" some pound cake and topped it with Caramelized Apple Jam for a heavenly little dessert. 

 

Click here for the recipe for Caramelized Apple Jam.

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Written by on December 19, 2010 under Dessert, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Relish.

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  • http://twitter.com/CharlesGT Charles G Thompson

    Laughing about the apple butter comment. So true! This sounds like another jam winner, and it’s still apple season too.

    • http://www.spectacularlydelicious.com Sean

      I gave apple sauce a pass, but beyond a pork chop, it’s baby food.

  • http://thehospitalityguru.com.au Anna Johnston

    Couldn’t agree more…. nothing spectacular about ‘ordinary’ apple butter but I think you’ve nailed it with this one, like the idea of toasting some pound cake for this little combo too.

    • http://www.spectacularlydelicious.com Sean

      If you really want to get excessive, try making French Toast with pound cake
      sometime.

  • Angela Watts

    I have to admit to making apple butter, as I’ve been eating it since I was a kid….but this sounds way yummier….and I’ve got about 13lbs of apples left.

    Off to research tonka beans and decide if they are easily attainable in my area.

    • http://www.spectacularlydelicious.com Sean

      I got mine online. They do have some coumarin in them, so not FDA approved but approved in europe. Google rinks bean recipes, I’ve seen other blobs write about them.

      sent via Droid

      • Angela Watts

        I did look it up and see that…but nothing I read screamed DON’T EAT ME….anymore than raw cookie dough (which hasn’t killed me yet) or unpasteurized milk and juice (which I am drinking at this very moment)….might have to drop by the health food store and check the dry sundries jars. I need some cardamon anyway….

        • http://www.spectacularlydelicious.com Sean

          I think it’s only because there’s not a big Tonka Bean lobbying organization in DC pressing the FDA to look into it. I haven’t killed anyone yet either. Come to think of it, a tonka-bean related death would be headline news in the New York Post or FOX news, so we’re probably safe…



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