Brandied Apple Jam combines the flavors of warm, inviting apples with apple brandy, cinnamon, and clove for a jam that’s perfect to gift at the holidays!
Jam and Jellies are undoubtedly my favorite items to gift at the holidays – in addition to handmade soap and salve. Handmade items carry so much meaning, not just for the one doing the gifting but also for the recipient.
The older I get, the more I value items that I know someone put their heart and love into. Can I get an amen?
Many people approach jam and jelly making as difficult and impossible when in reality it couldn’t be anything but easy. It’s all about coming up with combinations of fruits/vegetables that you think you might like to spread on toast.
Or eat with a spoon.
(Are my kids the only ones who eat jam with a spoon?)
This Brandied Apple Jam didn’t start as Brandied Apple Jam. It started with a really amazing sale on apples at the supermarket.
I may have bought way too many, thinking my kids would eat all the apples. After 5 kids, I should know that when you intentionally buy something on sale for them to eat, they suddenly decide they don’t like that fruit. 🧐
So I started thinking of what I could do with all the apples, and apple brandy came to mind. I may not drink or enjoy liquor, but I do know that commercial apple brandy is very expensive stuff (if you didn’t know that, just walk down the liquor aisle at the market and take a gander. Whoa. 😲)… My eyes practically fell out of their socket when I saw the cost.
Apple Brandy DIY
After making my own apple brandy I turned around and decided to use the flavors in apple brandy to make brandied apple jam. While liquor does go “in” to the jam, the simmering boils out the alcohol leaving some of the boozy flavor to infuse into the apples. The result was a deliciously flavored Brandied Apple Jam that’s great for gifts at the holidays.
Jam and jelly also makes great bartering tool as well – – especially when funds are low. Trading food and handmade items is an amazing way to sustain yourself in a challenging time.
If you do make your own apple brandy with my easy DIY, feel free to lower the apples in the recipe to 3 lbs and add in 1 lb of the brandy soaked apples for even more flavor (for a total of 4 lbs of apples).
BRANDIED APPLE JAM
Start this recipe by placing some clean canning jars and rings in the oven at 200 degrees until you are ready to fill them with the jam.
Add your diced apples, cinnamon and brandy to a large, deep-bottom pot on the stove. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a strong simmer for 20 minutes or until the apples soften up considerably. Use a masher to mash some of the apples, keeping some as-is for texture to the jam. (Or you can use an immersion blender).
Once the apples soften up, add the pectin and sugar and stir to dissolve. Bring to a rolling boil until the jam reaches a setting point of 220 degrees F – continue to boil for one minute.
Then carefully remove from heat and ladle into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims thoroughly and then apply lids and bands (finger tight).
PROCESS IN A WATER BATH
Lower the Brandied Apple Jam into a hot water bath, cover with 2 inches of water. Carefully place the lid on the water bath canner, and bring water to a steady boil.
Process in the water bath for 10-12 minutes. Remove the jars and cool. As the jars cool, they should set – sometimes it can take up to 24 hours (if not longer) for jars to set appropriately so be patient!
*If you are not using half pint jars, the processing time will be slightly longer!
Store sealed jars in a cool place for up to one year.
Brandied Apple Jam
- Water Bath Canner
- half pint canning jars, lids and rings
- 4 lbs apples (Fuji, Gala, etc.) peeled and diced
- 4.5 C granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 pkg low-sugar pectin*
- 3/4 C apple brandy
- Fill the water bath canner with water on a separate stove burner to prepare the jam for the water bath.
- Wash the canning jars. Place the canning jars, lids and bands in the oven at 200 degrees F to sterilize while you are making the jam (it helps to have them all in an 13x9 dish to keep them all together).
- Add diced apples, ground cinnamon, and apple brandy to a large, deep-bottom pot.
- Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a strong simmer. Simmer the apples until they are soft, 15-20 minutes. Use a masher to mash some of the apples - it's great to keep some of them unmashed for some texture to the jam. If you taste the jam now, it should have a strong apple flavor.
- Add the pectin and sugar and bring the apples to a boil, stirring frequently until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F. Once the mixture reaches 220 degrees F, continue to boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and ladle into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims thoroughly and then apply lids and bands (finger tight).
- Placed filled jars in a hot water bath, ensuring that they are covered by 2 inches of water. Place lid on water bath canner, and bring water to a steady boil.
- Process the jars for 10 minutes (half pint), adjusting for altitude. Boil 10 minutes at altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. Boil one additional minute for every 1,000 feet elevation.
- Turn off the heat, remove the lid and allow the jars to rest for 5 minutes. Then remove the jars entirely and allow to cool. Jam may take up to 24 hours to develop a full set.
- Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when center is pressed. Store jars in a cool place for up to 1 year.
Have you ever tried Brandied Apple Jam? If not, please try it and leave a comment to let me know how it turned out for you. Rate the recipe, too – I’d be so grateful!
Looking for more jam and jelly recipes? Check out some of my favorites: