Easy French Apple Jam Recipe

This unique small batch Easy French Apple Jam Recipe is simplr to make, has a gorgeous golden color, a fresh apple flavor, a chunky texture, and a surprise hint of spice from the cardamom.

European style jam!

This fabulous jam is worlds away from apple pie filling, although you could certainly use it to bake with.  It’s so delicious and versatile that I’m surprised you don’t see it more often.  This is a small batch, with just a handful of apples, and the quick process won’t overwhelm your kitchen or take all afternoon.  I got two big pints of it, and we’ve been spreading it on toast all week.  If you want a real treat, get yourselves some warm croissants to go with it.  I’m already dreaming up ways to bake it into something fabulous…

apples for apple jam

There are so many apples available right now, and you can really use any variety you like.  I mixed Granny Smith and Honeycrisp.  If you have local apples, all the better.  But be aware that other varieties may behave differently when cooked.   Mine retained their shape and color well, and they’re pretty commonly available in stores.

TIP: All apples have a lot of natural pectin, which  helps to thicken the jam as it cooks.  I used a little powdered pectin as insurance, but you can leave that out if you don’t have any, you may just have to boil the jam a little longer.  Don’t skip the lemon juice, though, because that helps prevent the apples from turning brown.

making apple jam

Rather than go with the obvious choice of cinnamon to spice up this jam, I used cardamom pods, lightly crushed to release their little black seeds.  The result is subtle and keeps the flavor from reading as ‘apple pie’.  I love warm flavor of cardamom, it’s ‘different’ without being overpowering.  I love it so much I even have a PINTEREST BOARD devoted to it!  If you want to use a mix of fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove, that would be nice, too, just don’t overdo it.

TIP: If you don’t want the texture of  the whole pods in your jam, use just the little black seeds.

cooking French apple jam

The French have a more easygoing attitude toward jam making than Americans do.  They don’t fuss with canning baths and tongs, and they don’t worry as much about the dangers of spoilage.  They have learned a simple process from centuries of jam making.  This particular recipe makes a small batch, meant to be consumed within a month or so, but if you wanted to make more, you can follow the French method that I outline in this post.

French Apple Jam, made super easy the European way

TIP: To can using the traditional method, ladle the jam into sterilized jars and process using the hot water bath method for 10 minutes.  You can also freeze the jam, just make sure to leave a little room at the top of each jar for expansion in the freezer.

Apple Jam lightly spiced with cardamom


Homemade jams and jellies make great “from my kitchen” gifts during the holidays!  If you love apple preserves, be sure to check out my ONE HOUR NO SUGAR APPLE BUTTER, and my CRANBERRY APPLE BUTTER.  But I’ve made jam, jelly, or butter out of just about every fruit out there, so check out my whole collection ~

Apple Jam

Yield: 2 pints


  • about 6 apples (I mixed Granny Smith and Honeycrisp)
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 cardamom pods, crushed (use a rolling pin or heavy spoon to gently crack open the pods)
  • juice of 2 lemons, divided
  • 2 Tbsp pectin powder (this is totally optional, the jam will set without it)


  1. Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the juice of 1 lemon.
  2. Peel, core, and quarter the apples and add them to the lemon water as you work.
  3. Remove the apples from the water (discard the water) and finely dice them.
  4. Add the apples to a heavy bottomed pot, along with the sugar, cardamom pods, (and any seeds that have escaped) the pectin (if using) and the juice of the other lemon. Stir well, and then bring to a boil.
  5. Boil, uncovered and stirring often, for about 30-40 minutes until thickened. About halfway through the cooking I used my stick blender to blend the jam just a bit, but I left lots of apple chunks intact. This is optional and depends on what texture you want your jam to have, and how large or small you chopped your apples in the first place. If you do this, be extra careful not to splatter yourself, the jam is very hot.
  6. Ladle the finished jam into clean (sterilized) jars, cover tightly, and let cool before refrigerating. See note below for preserving options.

Make it your own ~

  • To can this jam you can follow the instructions from the Ball® website: Ladle hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.  Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat and remove cover. Let jars cool 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner, do not retighten bands if loose. Cool 12 hours. Check seals. Label and store jars.
  • Add a few cranberries for a fresh flavor, or mix the apples with pears.
  • Double or triple the cardamom for a delicious spread to serve with cheese and crackers.



don’t forget to pin this unique French Apple Jam!

This unique small batch French Apple Jam is easy to make, has a gorgeous golden color, a fresh apple flavor, a chunky texture, and a surprise hint of spice from the cardamom. #jam #apples #preserves #cardamom #smallbatch #freezerjam #fallrecipe #foodgift #hostessgift #applejam #breakfast #brunch #canning #French


For more apple inspiration, visit my collection of apple recipes here ~

What to Eat Now: Apples



This unique small batch French Apple Jam is easy to make, has a gorgeous golden color, a fresh apple flavor, a chunky texture, and a surprise hint of spice from the cardamom. #jam #apples #preserves #cardamom #smallbatch #freezerjam #fallrecipe #foodgift #hostessgift #applejam #breakfast #brunch #canning #French

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Leave a Reply


  • Reply
    September 9, 2018 at 5:44 pm


  • Reply
    September 4, 2018 at 6:17 am

    I only have ground cardamom. It isn’t a spice I use a lot so I really don’t want to buy more. Would ground work?

    • Reply
      September 4, 2018 at 7:12 am

      Yes, that will work. Use it to taste.

  • Reply
    Steven Sippel
    September 3, 2018 at 7:41 am

    Hi Sue,
    The end of the recipe states to see note below for preserving options. I am unable to find the note. I wish to preserve for longer storage.

    • Reply
      September 3, 2018 at 7:50 am

      It’s there now Steven, not sure what happened to it!

  • Reply
    Easy Country Apple Dumplings - Belly Full
    August 28, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    […] Easy French Apple Jam – View from Great Island […]

  • Reply
    February 26, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    This is really good. I used 1 tsp ground cardamom next time will use double. Added about 1/2 tsp cinnamon. I found this did not need pectin. I boiled for 35 minutes. Will reduce time to 30minutes. Great recipe.

    • Reply
      February 26, 2018 at 5:12 pm

      Thanks Melissa!

  • Reply
    Sue S.
    October 16, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Annoyingly imprecise measurements! How big are your apples? How many pounds? How many cups of chopped apple? If all I could find were cardamom seeds, how many are in a pod? That being said, I guessed, and although I put in too many seeds, it made a lovely and delicious yellow jam, so I guess all is not lost!

    • Reply
      October 16, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      Sorry Sue, I believe cooking should be easy going, and in a lot of my recipes there is wiggle room with ingredients. With a jam like this you can afford to be a little imprecise, it will usually work out. Unless your apples are super small, 6 is a pretty standard measure. I’m glad it all worked out in the end for you!

  • Reply
    Pier Sanna
    October 19, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    I had been wanting apple jam for a long time and made this recipe using 4 kinds of just-picked apples. This is easy to make, cooked in a little over an hour (without pectin) and made 2 pints exactly. I used a potato masher to mush it up a bit about 30 minutes in and got a perfect texture. The recipe is just enough – give away 2 and keep 2. Looks great in the jars. I love the use and taste of cardamon but a little bit of vanilla bean would help out. Too many seeds though – make a cheesecloth sack to contain the seeds and then add some back to give it that intense cardamon flavor. Oh the flavor – this is delicious with a capital “D”. Next time I will make one with cinnamon, etc and the second batch with cardamon.

  • Reply
    October 8, 2016 at 4:53 am

    I prepared jam for the first time in my life and I am glad that I stumbled upon the best thing. It is fresh, savoury and simply stunning. Thank you very much!

    Already pinned it!

    • Reply
      October 8, 2016 at 7:52 am

      Yay Mayank! I haven’t made this in a while, but your description makes me want to cook up a batch today :)

  • Reply
    September 23, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Can you divide the recipe into 1\2 pints instead of pints?

    • Reply
      September 23, 2016 at 8:06 pm

      Absolutely, you can put it in any size jars, Vicky.

  • Reply
    September 20, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    I have whole cardamon – not ground, not pods. Can you tell me how much whole cardamon to use?

    Thanks much

    • Reply
      September 20, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      You mean you just have the little black seeds? You can use them to taste, Nina, but you could start with 1 tsp.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Yum! I can’t get enough of this jam since I made it last year for Thanksgiving! It was quite the hit and I’ve been giving some as gifts since! I also just included a link to this page in my latest post on growwildmychild.com Thank you so much for the inspiration.

    • Reply
      September 15, 2016 at 7:22 am

      Thank YOU so much for coming back to let us know, and for posting about it, I’m heading over now :)

  • Reply
    Yolande Mirza
    August 28, 2016 at 6:50 am

    Hi, lovely recipe. Only thing is that I follow the quantities, but then ended up with 1 bottle of jam only. It completely boiled off. I don’t know how everyone else got 1liter (2pints)? What am I doing wrong?

  • Reply
    June 24, 2016 at 7:48 am

    I’ve been making jam for 45 years and have never messed with a water bath yet and haven’t had any problems. Just this morning I opened a jar of cloud berry jam I made literally 7 or 8 years ago (didn’t mean to keep it that long) and it’s still great. We will use it. But I do store it in a spare refrigerator or sometimes in the wine cellar but this bottle had been in a fridge I keep especially for the purpose of storing flour, dried fruits, nuts, etc.

  • Reply
    June 9, 2016 at 1:26 am

    Thanks for the recipe Sue. I made it today, and it turned out great. The cardamom addon was a break from the regular and guess what- my son loved it. I could eat it whole right now! Really glad I found you!

    • Reply
      June 9, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      I’m so glad Shivani :)

  • Reply
    June 4, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Cardamom is a traditional Scandinavian spice, so I was excited by the recipe, since I’m also a great fan of chunky apple sauce and jam. The difficulty is that I live in a remote rural area, and I’m not able to find cardamom pods, but I do have a good quantity of ground cardamom. Can you suggest substitution measurements between pods and ground? Thank you.

    • Reply
      June 4, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      I think you can go by taste, Meredith, and maybe start with 1/2 teaspoon? You can taste it and add more if you like.

  • Reply
    Toa Mukerji
    May 23, 2016 at 11:26 am

    I made this jam today. It came out delicious!! I put come chopped ginger while cooking. It was a hit!! Thank you so much!!

    • Reply
      May 23, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      I’m so glad Toa — and thanks for the fresh ginger tip, that really sounds great, I’ll try it next time :)

  • Reply
    May 22, 2016 at 6:07 am

    I’ve never thought of making apple jam. Would be great in some fall recipes.

    • Reply
      May 22, 2016 at 7:13 am

      Thanks Kelly – it’s pretty versatile stuff :)

  • Reply
    Christie Tuggle
    April 28, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Would so much like to have your French Apple Jam recipe. It sounds so good.

  • Reply
    January 16, 2016 at 2:27 am

    Dear Sue, thanks for this super-delicious recipe!! I especially like the different taste the cardamom pods add to the “plain apple”! It was a first time for cardamom ever for me and I can tell, it’s been a huge success! I had to go to a special spice stall at the “Weihnachtsmarkt” here in Frankfurt to find cardamom pods. They’re not available in Supermarkets. Even there they had to look for the small satchel in their inventory. “We have it, just have to find it!” The owner said. While waiting for his wife and grandson to search the stall I told him, that I wanted to make apple jam following your recipe with the pods. And soon a little crowd gathered around me, listening intently and asking questions about where to find your recipe and “what?!? Cardamom and apples?!? Never heard of!!” (Here in Germany we use cardamom for Xmas bakery only).
    So thanks again for sharing the recipe, you created a wonderful pre-Xmas event for me!

    • Reply
      January 16, 2016 at 8:40 am

      Best comment ever Anette! You paint such a vivid picture of your experience, and I’m so glad you liked the jam. It sounds like you’ve gotten me some new German fans, thank you!

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