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
    Lilac
    August 24, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    5 stars
    Great recipe!
    I used cardamom once and nutmeg for the second time. Loved both, but nutmeg is definitely my favorite. I also added lemon zest from one lemon, for additional layer of deliciousness.

  • Reply
    Niels
    August 6, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    Chop 1/3 to 1/2 of the apples super thin and small. It will ease the liquefaction so you don’t need to go in with the blender.

  • Reply
    Alice
    August 6, 2021 at 9:41 am

    I want to make many jars of this recipe and when you push the print button — on the recipe you can double triple etc. most of the ingredients except the quantity of apples stays the same. Can u double the recipe? If so — do you double the apple too? Sometimes doubling recipes for jam does not work — will this recipe it turn out? Thank you.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      August 6, 2021 at 10:31 am

      I would make this in separate batches, i.e. separate pots, because it requires the reducing of the mixture to create the jam. If you double or triple the recipe it will take too long to reduce and throw off the results.

  • Reply
    joan
    March 20, 2021 at 11:38 am

    5 stars
    I made the jam yesterday. It is really tasty. (I added nutmeg and ginger and lots of lemon juice.)
    It just didn’t come out vey thick. But, it was worth it. Thanks again.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 20, 2021 at 1:52 pm

      It probably needed to cook a little longer, Joan. You probably had extra juicy apples 🙂

  • Reply
    joan
    February 18, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    I don’t have cardamon pods I have the powder, Would that work?? how much? This looks so delicious, your jams recipes are so wonderful. Then again, I’ve never been disappointed in any of your recipes I made.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 18, 2021 at 5:50 pm

      Yes, sure Joan, I’d start with maybe 1/2 teaspoon and add more to taste.

  • Reply
    Alicia
    February 18, 2021 at 10:13 am

    Looks wonderful! Probably a good addition to a cheeseboard?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 18, 2021 at 10:33 am

      yes, that’s my favorite way to use it, goes great with a nice sharp cheddar.

  • Reply
    Kathy Hansen
    October 26, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    5 stars
    This looks like a good fall recipe! Could I used ground cardamom instead of the pods or seeds?

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 26, 2020 at 1:29 pm

      Yes, sure.

  • Reply
    Nidhi
    October 20, 2020 at 9:31 am

    4 stars
    Made this Jam just now. Hubby reduced the sugar as he likes tart Jams so reduced the cooking time by 10 mins. Nice and easy jam!

  • Reply
    Margaret
    October 19, 2020 at 9:07 am

    5 stars
    This receipt is great. My family can’t wait to taste but an half way through.how much of apples and sugar in oz in should I use and the tables spoons of lemon.

  • Reply
    Glynis
    October 9, 2020 at 7:36 am

    5 stars
    Made the French apple jam today delicious! I may have cooked it too long so might have difficulty getting it out of the jar.

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 9, 2020 at 7:59 am

      It can get quite thick because apples have natural pectin. Glad you liked it!

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