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 ~

 
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3.6 from 262 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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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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174 Comments

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  • Reply
    Catherine
    November 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    French Apple Jam
    Hi, Susan.

    I recently spent a week in beautiful Provence, France, and couldn’t wait to try the French Apple Jam recipe you posted earlier this month. Yesterday, I finally got around to making it and just had to let you know that it’s SUPER-FABULOUS . . .exactly what I would be having with warm croissants on an early fall day in Provence. The finished product looks just like your photo – luscious and golden. I’m planning to make another batch before Christmas to give to friends and family.

    I’ve made berry, fig and stone fruit jams on-and-off for many years, but your French Apple Jam with cardamom ranks among my favorites. Thanks for sharing “The View from Great Island”.

    Catherine Christensen
    Woodland Hills, CA

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 21, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      Gosh, Catherine, that is quite a testament, thanks so much!

  • Reply
    viviene
    November 20, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Can this gorgeous jam be frozen?

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 20, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      I’m sure it could be frozen, Vivienne.

    • Reply
      Gayle
      May 2, 2020 at 7:35 am

      5 stars
      Where did you get those cute jars? Thank you for such a lovely recipe!

      • Reply
        Sue
        May 2, 2020 at 8:15 am

        They’re just random mason jars I had on hand!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    November 9, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Gorgeous jam, I love the color!

  • Reply
    vanillasugarblog
    November 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    and yet I still haven’t done a homemade jam yet!
    ack!
    I need to get on this.
    Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Liz
    November 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    When I was growing up, I absolutely hated the jam/jelly process. It was in Ohio: hot & humid and no A/C and yuck!

    As a middle-aged person who is making most everything from whole food, I’ve had fun with jam and marmalade and this past year have been making small amounts: 2-4 pints. NOW, I’m having fun!

    This apple jam is so perfect. Good, organic and relatively local apples are available now. And really, there is almost always something that is in season.

    My mother told me long ago (she’s not French, she just went on her own common sense) – if you are putting boiling whatever into sterilized jars…done! And my entire family is still alive 🙂 !

    Thanks for the recipe and also the link to your post with the French method.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    November 8, 2013 at 10:12 am

    This is lovely recipe Sue. I can’t imagine how tasty it is. And so pretty too! I need more jam in my life!

  • Reply
    Claire @ The Black Cat Kitchen
    November 8, 2013 at 8:13 am

    What a beautiful recipe! Love the whole cardamom seeds just suspended in it, so pretty! Cardomom is hands down my favourite spice and although I’ve been canning with it this year with pears I’ve never thought of using it with apples. I thought I was done making jam for the year but looks like I might just squeeze in one more batch….

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    November 8, 2013 at 2:59 am

    This looks wonderful and I can just imagine how good those cardamon pods smell.

  • Reply
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    November 7, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    I’ve never had apple jam but I’m thinking.. wouldn’t this be wonderful inside a crepe?? I must make this and see. 🙂

  • Reply
    Karen Harris
    November 7, 2013 at 9:52 am

    This looks delicious. I can just taste it. I found the French method fascinating. Doing away with all the pots, pans and stuff that I feel I have to get out to put jam in jars really prevents me from making it more often. I can’t wait to give it a try.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 7, 2013 at 10:22 am

      That’s the way I feel, it’s so freeing! I also love making small batches, so I don’t feel like I have to wait till I have a huge load of fruit to make jam or chutney.

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