After coming home with a bunch of apples from our local farmer’s market, we set out to make one of our favorite apple jam recipes: apple-maple jam. We like using a mix of tart Granny Smith apples and soft Golden Delicious apples for just about anything apple, including the apple-maple jam we made, as well as other more common recipes such as apple pie and apple crisp.
Let’s get started on our jam, and when we’re finished, we have some other interesting and useful information about apples for you to enjoy.
First we washed the apples in cool water. It’s always best to wash apples right before you use them, rather than ahead of time. We used around six pounds of apples.
Next we cored and peeled the apples.
Next we added the spices that help give this recipe such good flavor. We added one teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon cloves. At this point, delicious scents are starting to waft through the air!
To finish things off, we put the jam into jars. We’re looking forward to lots of mornings with this delicious jam on our toast, muffins, pancakes, waffles . . . and any other baked goodie we can come up with!
As American as Apple Pie
Apples have a place in the heart of American heritage. They came to the U.S. with the Pilgrims in 1620 and have been a part of American culture ever since. John Chapman (better known as “Johnny Appleseed”) planted over 10,000 square miles of apple orchards in the 1800’s. Prior to their arrival with the Pilgrims, the only apples native to the U.S were crab apples.
An interesting detail about apples getting established in the U.S. is that the original orchards had a difficult time producing many apples because there were no honey bees. Colonies of honey bees were shipped from England the 1620’s and 1630’s. We owe much to the honey bee . . . we wouldn’t be enjoying farm-fresh apples without them!
Apples have been around for over 4,00 years, and made their historical debut in the Bible when Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. The apple is native to Europe and Asia, and is now grown worldwide in temperate regions. But the U.S. produces about 1/3 of the world’s apple crop. There are literally thousands of varieties in the U.S. alone.
If you want to learn more about the beloved apple, check these resources:
- Apples and More lists dozens of interesting facts about apples. Did you know it takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple? Did you know that apples are a member of the rose family? You can read about these facts and many others on this website.
- An apple a day will keep the doctor away. We don’t know if this is always true, but it sure doesn’t hurt. Read all about the nutritional value of apples on Apples and More’s web page, Apple Nutrition.
- Wikipedia provides lots of useful information about apples. The section Human Consumption has some especially useful information, as well as the Nutrition section.
- The United States Department of Agriculture has a helpful fact sheet. It includes measurement, storage, and nutirition information. It also has some suggestions and tips on usage and food safety, as well as recipes for apple crisp and apple raisin tossed salad.