Cannin’ and Jammin’

We have quite the variety of fruit-bearing plants in our yard thanks to the illustrius gardening skills of J’s grandmother who originally lived here.  Everything is wild and unkempt by now.  The grapevine has taken over its trellis and the unsuspecting trees next to the trellis, the blackberry bushes have started overshadowing the rhododendrons, the cherry tree does not produce for reasons we know not of but it does have beautiful blossoms in the spring, and supposedly the blueberry bushes behind the trailer are tasty although in the 2 years I’ve been around I’ve never seen a single blueberry.

However, it is the apple tree that reigns over the yard year after year.  And this year I decided to make the most of it and use as many of the apples as I could.

So far, I’ve made two delicious batches of Apple Kuchen, which is a German apple cake that is much like apple crisp without the oats.  I had a grocery bag full of apples and only basic baking ingredients, so I had to find something simple.  It’s soooo good!  And really easy to make.  Especially since it calls for 8 cups of sliced apples and one of our apples yields 2 cups, so I only had to peel, core, and slice 4 apples.  Easy.

What else can I make with apples that I haven’t done before?  Jam.

So I invited my good friend Heather (who has a lifetime of experience making homemade stuff) over on Saturday to help me make  blackberry apple jam.  I’d never seen my stove so full before!

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I was hoping to use all fruit from the yard, but I wasn’t able to pick enough blackberries, so I went to the store and picked up a couple bags of the frozen kind.  Works just as well!

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I did have plenty of apples, though, so I decided to make apple jam as well.

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Heather brought her food mill and I was so glad because it made the whole process go really smoothly.

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I used this recipe for the blackberry apple jam.  We did not add as much sugar as it called for, but rather added it gradually to taste.  I think we put in about 2 cups of sugar to the whole batch.

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 For the apple jam, we added a cup of brown sugar along with the white and some cinnamon.  It came out tasting like caramel applesauce!  Soo delicious!

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I ended up with 10 Black Apple jam jars and 12 of the apple.  One of the apples didn’t seal, so I opened it up the next day and tried some on a piece of toast.  Wonderful!  It was still pretty liquidy, though, so I’m hoping some time in the fridge will help with that.  I also think next time I will cook it longer to make it more thick.  But this was a fun first time!

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