My husband and I went to a you-pick apple farm last month and came home with 8 lbs of apples. It was the very last day the farm was open, so many of the apples left were extremely tiny (some were as small as cherries) and very, very sour. We ate the bigger ones as is, but I knew I had to do something involving a lot of sugar with the tiny ones! So I hit Google and found Apple Pie Jam. This is actually a combination of two recipes from Taste of Home and Food.com, plus my own inevitable twists. The basics came from The original says to peel the apples, but no way was I peeling cherry sized apples. There would have been nothing left. A hit with the immersion blender after the apples softened in the pot took care of the skins, and the rosy skins made the jam a lovely color.
And how was the jam? Great! Very similar to apple butter, but definitely not the same. It's kind of hard to describe, but if you like jam and apple butter, you will love this. One batch of this wasn't actually enough to use all of the tiny apples, and I'm probably going to make it again later this week.
Apple Pie Jam
1/2 T pumpkin pie spice (from my own blend)
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 C water
1 packet powdered pectin (I used Ball, this was 6 T from a larger canister)
3 C white sugar
2 C dark brown sugar
Place apples, spice, lemon juice, and water in a large pot and cook over medium until apples are tender. Puree with immersion blender. Stir in pectin and bring to a boil while stirring. Stir in sugar. Raise temperature to medium-high, or whatever temperature is needed to maintain a rolling boil. When the jam is boiling hard enough that stirring doesn't make it stop boiling, set a timer to 1 minute and cook, stirring constantly.
When the minute is up, immediately remove the pot from the heat and continue to stir until it stops boiling. Fill jars with hot jam. Allow to cool, then put the lids on. Refrigerate until chilled, then put any jars that you won't use right away in the freezer. Refrigerated jam stays good for a week or two. Just thaw jars as needed in the refrigerator for a day or two.
Yield: 5 or 6 pint jars