Wednesday, March 01, 2006

My apple jam

"And then she went to a secret lonely chamber, where no one was likely to come, and there she made a poisonous apple. It was beautiful to look upon, being white with red cheeks, so that any one who should see it must long for it, but whoever ate even a little bit of it must die. When the apple was ready she painted her face and clothed herself like a peasant woman, and went across the seven mountains to where the seven dwarfs lived."

Aren’t apples good looking? In fairy tales, you seldom read about oranges or pears or bananas. The tree of life is an apple tree. And what about the golden apples heroes have to steal? And remember Adam? Or even Isaac Newton? What about Chris Martin’s and Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter? And the Big Apple? Or the apple of our eye? It’s always apples. Red, shiny, firm, not too sweet, those are my favourite to eat. But for jam, they’d better be sweet and not as firm.

My mum goes to the open market every Friday and buys tons of apples and pears and oranges. Then, when I go to see her, about once or twice a week, she gives me carrier bags with fruit enough to feed ten people for a week. So I decided to make some jam so that all this fruit wouldn’t go to waste.

Now, it is known that the best time to make apple jam is November. But I made some a few days ago and it was delicious. I didn’t add pectin. Some recipes recommend it, but I disagree, since apples are already rich in pectin. My apples were already very sweet and I even halved the sugar in the original recipe.

We need

  • 7 cups apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (try to include apples of the same kind)
  • 3-4 cups sugar (depends on the apples really, my recipe asked for 6 cups of sugar but I added 3 and a half)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbs cinnamon

1. Place thinly sliced apples in a large saucepan over a high heat.
2. Add the sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon while stirring continuously.
3. Let the mixture boil for about 20 minutes or half an hour until thickened, removing any scum that may rise to the surface. Don’t forget to stir continuously. Some water might be needed, again, depending on the kind of apples you are using.
4. Pour the mixture into jam jars, seal and store away. It’s delicious on toasted bread and butter, or with crepes, or cakes, or tarts.

“And what is more melancholy than the old apple-trees that linger about the spot where once stood a homestead, but where there is now only a ruined chimney rising our of a grassy and weed-grown cellar? They offer their fruit to every wayfarer--apples that are bitter-sweet with the moral of times vicissitude.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne-Mosses from an Old Manse-The Old Manse


  • Apples and Oranges - Pink Floyd
  • Appels and Oranges - Smashing Pumpkins
  • Rotten Apples - Smashing Pumpkins
  • Little Apples- Momus

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