Someone needs to shake some sense into me. A wise man once said, “If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.” Yes, I often feel like those are the words I live by – particularly this time of year. If you look into my pantry right now, you would completely agree with me. We are on the final countdown to Thanksgiving – but that is not the only thing going on in our family at the moment. We are about to embark on the Trifecta of holidays – Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and my younger daughter’s birthday – yes, all on the same day. She could not be more excited. Me, well, I would rather spread the cheer, but it is what it is.
I got back from another adventure, only to be thrown right into the birthday celebrations. Last week was not my best international travelling experience when it came to sleeping. For some reason almost every night between 2:30 and 3:00am, I decided I had slept enough, and it was time for my body to wake up. I was exhausted. Three hours of sleep a night is not nearly enough for me – I can get away with it for a couple of nights – but then I really turn to mush. The good news – I was finally able to sleep on the airplane – I was just done. I couldn’t take it any longer.
Aside from birthday baking this weekend, I had to get one last batch of jam in before I call it quits for the season. With Thanksgiving coming right around the corner, I decided to try out a new recipe from Food in Jars using cranberries and apples – both which I found at the farmer’s market this weekend. This jam is mighty delicious – and so versatile. I could see this on a peanut butter sandwich, as well as a turkey sandwich. Oh, and on a bagel with cream cheese – it would make it sing. So – as you are preparing for your Thanksgiving feast – why not make a batch of this. And if you really want to make your guests happy, give them a small jar as they are leaving. Again – this is the time of year where people tend go a little overboard – and my philosophy is, if you can over do it now, then you can rest later. Is it later yet?
- 8 cups of peeled and diced apple (approximately 5-6 large apples, 1/2 inch dice. Use a softer apple like a Golden Delicious. Firm apples won’t cook down as well.)
- 4 cups of whole cranberries
- 6 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
Combine the apples, cranberries, sugar and water in a large pot (use a big one, this jam will bubble) over high heat. Bring to a boil, skimming off the foam that develops on the top of the fruit. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the cranberries pop and the apples soften.
Add the lemon zest and juice and simmer until the liquid in the pot begins to thicken (because both apples and cranberries are naturally high in pectin, you won’t need any additional pectin to help this jam set, as long as you cook it until thick and syrup-y). If you like a smoother jam, now is the time to use an immersion blender.
Ladle into prepared jars, wipe rims, apply lids and process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Label nicely and distribute to those you love.
Makes about 4 (1-Pint) Jars.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Apple-Cranberry Jam