You guys know right, what I feel about fruit?
I hate fruits.
People seem to think they're the tastiest things not to mention healthy. I seem to have an aversion to all fruits barring lychees. Especially bananas and apples. Bananas with yellow goopy insides with strings and what-not and apples with weird sandy interiors that aren't even very juicy. My hatred of fruits seem to be correlating with strange phenomena of previously well-fitted pants not fitting anymore. Strange.
With R being the exact opposite, (he loved fruits so much I swear he's a monkey), there are times when there are fruits in the house that's leftover, and I've sworn not to eat them. Bananas, apples, grapes. Overripe bananas I use in banana breads. Overripe grapes I give to the birds, that's way past redemption. And extra apples. Those I turn into my special Cinnamon and Clove Chunky Apple Jam. A bottle of 100% natural Apple Jam, chunky and spiced with warming flavours of cloves and cinnamon. You know what is going into it. Zero preservatives. Not only is it incredibly delicious (like I-can't-believe-I-made-this delicious), but it's also ridiculously easy. All you need is patience. And apples.
Presenting my Cinnamon and Clove Chunky Apple Jam.
Chunky Apple Cinnamon Star Anise Jam
- 2 apples. I used 1 and a half normal sized pink-and-yellow apples.
- Sugar. Crystal or castor, doesn't matter. It's difficult to give the quantity. If it's a sweet apple like Washington apples, you need less. For what I used, the slightly tangy apples, I used about 9-10 tbsp sugar.
- 1 large stick of cinnamon broken in half,
- 1 dash of cinnamon powder
- 5-6 cloves.
- A teaspoon of lemon juice.
- Peel and core the apples, and chop them up as finely and small as you can. Don't make a paste of it, not even if you want a non-chunky jam. Just chop it fine. Tip into a pan.
- Add the spices.
- Add the sugar. Add just a touch of water. Maybe a tablespoon.
- Put it on the flame. High for a while, then when the mix gets all watery, medium-low, on the lower side.
- Keep stirring, not continuously, but frequently. The point is to wilt the apples.
- After a point you'll feel "why the h*** aren't the apples melting down? Have they started? Maybe, I don't know!" But keep patience, it takes time.
- After a long while, you'll notice some apples beginning to turn slightly brown and limp. That's what we are waiting for. That's when it starts to melt down.
- From that point on, keep picking up the larger pieces and poking at them with a knife. Even if it feel soft, it's nor done until its brownish and limp.
- When 95% of the pieces are wilted and cooked, take it off the flame.
- Very carefully and keeping any exposed part of your hands or face away and covered, stick a blender in the pan to blend til your desired level of chunkiness. Please be VERY careful here, it'll throw up bits and pieces of VERY hot sugar and apple, and you don't want to get some on your hands (as I did).
- Once you have your favoured consistency, put it back on the heat and stir.
- You'll be able to tell when it's done as far as texture goes. It'll be all nice and sticky. Don't let it become too stiff to stir because it'll stiffen further in the fridge.
- Add a bit of lemon juice and stir it in.
- Keep a glass jar washed and completely dried.
- Very carefully, ladle the jam into the jar.
- Now keep the jar on your kitchen table, under a running fan, unlidded. We need to let it cool before we cap it. Just keep a large net or something on top.
- Once it cools to bare warmth, put it unlidded in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes. It will completely cool.
- Then cap tightly and store. It should be good for at least 2 weeks. Mine did in the fridge in humid Mumbai weather.
Have it with ANYTHING. Toasted bread, pancakes, toasted cake slices, or right off the spoon! It's so good, you'll get fruit just to do this!