Did I tell people that I like jam?? Jam comes in lots of different flavours and I wanted something special for a craft fair I was donating to. I wanted it unique so why not add some alcohol! Apple with rum and pear with brandy. Some of my favourite combinations in desserts.
For my first boozy jam, I made Brandy Vanilla Pear. The brandy helps amplify the juicy pears and of course adding vanilla never hurt too!
Start the jam with nice juicy pears. Dice them into small cubes. You want the jam to have a bit of a texture.
Measure out brandy, vanilla and lemon juice.
Add everything to a pot and boil away! Simmer the pear so that it becomes tender and the alcohol starts to infuse into it.
When the liquid and pears have simmered for about 20-30 minutes, add the sugar. Make sure the jam mixture gets to a boil again! You want it to be hot. I omitted the butter because I didn’t know if this would affect the shelf life of the jam.
When the jam mixture boils for a minute or two, its ready to jam. (For jamming tips check out in the Mixed Berry Jam recipe)
For craft fairs, its nice to have them in smaller jars.
For the Rum Raisin Apple jam, I used home grown apples from my grandma’s backyard. They aren’t the prettiest (some have blemishes and spots) but they are tasty!! Its like the saying goes “don’t judge a book by its cover”.
For this jam you will need rum, raisins, apples, pectin lemon juice and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger).
Chop up the raisins. If you like chunky jam, leave the raisins bit courser. If not, chop away!!
Add the raisins to your chopped apples. The earlier you get them in, the softer and more tender they become.
Let your apple raisin mixture simmer and cook. This should take about 15-20 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and rum.
Simmer again for another 10 minutes. The mixture at this point could look a bit dry but by adding sugar it will liquify again.
Get the jam mixture to boil before adding the pectin and spices.
Prepare the jars while the mixture boils for a minute.
Carefully fill the jam jars and cover with lids.
For that rustic touch, cover the lids with a cotton fabric piece and wrap with twine and tag. Even if you weren’t making these for the craft fair, they make perfect thank you gifts or presents. That little homemade something for that special person.
Brandied Vanilla Pear Jam
serves Makes 5 cups, or 5 half-pint jars, active time 1 hour, total time 1 hour 30 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin
- 4 cups coarsely pureed pears (from about 7 or 8 medium ripe pears)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- 4 teaspoons calcium water (included in the Pomona’s box)
- 1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter
- If you are going to preserve the jam, prepare the jars and lids: place five half-pint jars on a rack in a large pot. Add enough water to cover the jars, and bring to boil over high heat. Boil for 10 minutes, then turn off heat and allow the jars to rest in the hot water. Meanwhile, put bands and lids in a small saucepan and cover with water. Heat over medium heat until the water is simmering, then remove the pan from heat and allow the bands and lids to rest in hot water until ready to use.
- Combine the sugar and pectin in a medium bowl and whisk to blend.
- Combine the pears, lemon juice, calcium water, brandy, and the vanilla bean and seeds in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the sugar-pectin mixture and the butter and return the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil for one minute.
- Ladle the hot jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims of the jars, cover with lids, and screw bands on until just barely tight. Place jars on rack in pot and cover completely with water. Cover pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, uncover pot, and allow jars to rest in water for five minutes. Remove jars from pot and allow them to rest undisturbed on countertop for six hours or overnight.
Rum Raisin Apple Jam
serves Seven (8-ounce) jars, plus a little leftover,
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 6 cups peeled, cored, and chopped Granny Smith apples (about 5 medium apples)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened apple juice or apple cider
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Freshly grated zest of one lemon
- 1 (1.75-ounce) package regular powdered fruit pectin
- 9 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- If you are going to preserve the jam, prepare the jars and lids: place 7 half-pint jars on rack in large pot. Add enough water to cover jars and bring to boil over high heat. Boil for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and allow jars to rest in hot water. Meanwhile, put rims and lids in small saucepan and cover with water. Heat over medium heat until water is simmering; remove pan from heat and allow rims and lids to rest in hot water.
- Pulse the raisins in a food processor until finely chopped, about seven one-second pulses.
- Combine the apples, apple juice, rum, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a big pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and beginning to break down, about 12 to 15 minutes. Mash the apples with a potato masher or large fork to make a chunky sauce.
- Remove apple mixture from heat, add pectin, and stir until dissolved. Stir in raisins. Return pot to high heat and bring mixture to a boil. Add sugar all at once. Stir mixture constantly until it comes to a full rolling boil. Allow to boil hard for one minute, then remove pot from heat and stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Skim any foam off surface of the jam with a slotted spoon.
- Ladle hot jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars, cover with lids, and screw bands on until just barely tight. Place jars on rack in pot and cover completely with water. Cover pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, uncover pot, and allow jars to rest in water for five minutes. Remove jars from pot and allow to rest undisturbed on countertop for six hours or overnight.
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