Easy French Apple Jam Recipe

This unique small batch Easy French Apple Jam Recipe is simple 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.

cooking French apple jam

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

French Apple Jam, made super easy the European way

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 ~

3.61 from 263 votes

Apple Jam

This unique small batch Easy French Apple Jam Recipe is simple to make, has a gorgeous golden color, a fresh apple flavor, a chunky texture, and a surprise hint of spice from the cardamom.
Course Jam
Cuisine French
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Yield 2 pints
Author Sue Moran


  • 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


  • Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the juice of 1 lemon.
  • Peel, core, and quarter the apples and add them to the lemon water as you work.
  • Remove the apples from the water (discard the water) and finely dice them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ladle the finished jam into clean (sterilized) jars, cover tightly, and let cool before refrigerating. See note below for preserving options.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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.



Apple jam pin.


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

What to Eat Now: Apples



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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    May 5, 2022 at 8:17 am

    5 stars
    Do you have to use cardamom?

  • Reply
    December 22, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    I’ve never made jam before. I just made this recipe; it looked SO good! It came out perfectly, and it tastes divine. I doubled it for gift-giving. I love cardamom and it really does give the jam a unique flavor.
    Thank you for such an easy to follow, delicious, jam recipe.

  • Reply
    Mary Glidden
    October 30, 2021 at 10:41 pm

    Would love to try this recipe but I have small apples. Could give the amount of apple in cups please? Love cardamon so am excited to try this!!!

  • Reply
    Annette Roussel
    September 26, 2021 at 10:47 am

    Hi! I am a little confused about the cardamom. Do I put the whole cracked pods in (the husks/shells)? Or just the seeds? Won’t the pods be like eating sunflower seed shells? I made this recipe last year and loved it but I can’t remember what I did with the cardamom.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      September 26, 2021 at 12:23 pm

      You can use just the seeds, or the cracked pods and seeds. Some people love eating the whole pods, and they will have softened during cooking.

  • Reply
    Debbie Yackanicz
    September 9, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    Can you use just ground cardamom?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      September 10, 2021 at 5:57 am

      Yes, you can. Use it to taste.

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