Japanese Apple Jam 林檎ジャム – An easy to follow recipe

Recipe for a delicious, subtly sweet Japanese apple jam that can be easily made at home. Save it to enjoy with yogurt, Shokupan toast, apple pie filling and more.

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During my visit to Japan in April, I realized that apple jam is one of the local foods that foreign visitors appreciate the most because of its subtle sweetness and delicious flavor. Back home, I noticed that apple jam is not sold in supermarkets in Australia. Since I moved to Tasmania where they grow amazing, seasonal apples now, and organic apples are only $2 a kilogram, I thought why not use the Japanese apple jam recipe!

two apples, apple jam in a jar and a spoon

Why do I call this homemade apple jam “Japanese”?

Apple jam is not native to Japan as jam was first introduced to Japan from Europe where jam making has a long tradition and history as a preserved food. The first jam made in Japan was strawberry jam made in the Meiji era, only about 150 years ago. According to the international food standard (CODEX), jam is classified as a preserve containing more than 60-65% sugar.

In contrast, JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standards) approves canned foods containing more than 40% sugar as “jam” in Japan. About 45% of the jam sold in Japan has a sugar content of 40-45%. So the Japanese apple jam that many foreign visitors praise is not too sweet and it is a very special jam that you only get in Japan. reference https://sugar.alic.go.jp/japan/shiten/shiten0909a.htm

Ingredients you need

Apples: the right apples for the right results

My first choice is Pink Lady because I like to add a bit of color to the jam and also the firm flesh holds its shape when cooked. If you don’t mind a solid color jam, the Granny Smith (an iconic Australian green apple variety) is also good as it has firm flesh. I used Royal Gala apples this time. Peeling and adding the skin to the jam extracts the pectin which helps form the jelly and adds color. If you like a more crushed texture in jam, sweet Fuji apples are also excellent.

Sugar :

for this homemade apple jam recipe, you need about 3/4 cups of sugar. Generally we need a sugar that dissolves quickly when making jam, normal white sugar works great for homemade apple jam. But I used caster sugar, and if you can get super fine caster sugar, it works better.

Lemon juice :

to add pectin and acidity.

Beware of the pot you make the jam

An enamel jar is the simplest and most readily available jar for making jam at home. It is strong against acids and alkalis and will not affect the taste and color of the ingredients in it. A copper stockpot is also a great option and professional chefs like to use copper stockpots because of their excellent heat conduction, but I don’t have a copper stockpot so I used an enameled stockpot that I have purchased from IKEA. Avoid aluminum pots as they will react chemically with the fruit acid.

4 images of the apple jam making process
4 images of the apple jam making process

How to make homemade apple jam?

  1. Wash, peel and core the apples. Do not discard the skin and pit as they will be used later.
  2. In a bowl, put a cup of water and dissolve a teaspoon of salt in the water and add the peeled apples as you peel them.
  3. Remove the apple from the salt water and cut it into pieces.
  4. Place the apple pieces in an enamel pan and also add the peeled skin and core.
  5. Add sugar to apple and apple skin. Leave it for about 2 hours. The moisture in the apple will be squeezed out and you will see liquid at the bottom of the jar.
  6. Place the pan over medium heat and add the lemon juice.
  7. Bring the apple and apple juice extract to a boil. Skim off any scum on the surface with a small sieve.
  8. Simmer for 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Once the color of the apple skin comes off in the liquid, remove all of the apple skin before the liquids thicken and discard.
  9. While the jam is hot, pour the jam into sterilized half-pint jars, wipe the rim clean, and seal the lids tightly.
  10. Cool the jars to room temperature then refrigerate.
4 images pasted into one, making apple jam process
4 pictures of glued apple jam making process

Tips for Making Black Sesame Fried Rice

  • Add mayonnaise to rice before frying to separate the rice grains. I explained this trick in the Japanese fried rice recipe.

Proven ways to store apple jam

The sterilization of the storage jar is essential to preserve the jam. The length of the storage period will depend on the sterilization method you use. I used the following proven method. Place the jar and a lid in a large saucepan and bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and place the jar and lid on a clean rack covered with a kitchen towel. Pack the jam while it is hot and immediately close the lid tightly.

two pictures showing how to sterilize the jar for storing apple jam

Delicious ways to use apple jam

My favorite way to eat apple jam is with yogurt. This apple jam also comes with toast Shokupan Japanese bread very good. Also, gluhwein (1 cup red wine, 1 tbsp apple jam, 2 slices ginger and 1 cinnamon stick put it all in a small saucepan and warm it up) is a creative way to eat/drink this delicious apple jam.

Apple jam in a jar with two apples around it and a spoon

FAQs

Q: Could I add spices for more flavor?

A: Yes, of course. You can add allspice, cardamom, cinnamon stick or vanilla beans.

Here is my apple jam recipe and if you liked it, please rate it and leave a comment below. Also don’t forget to follow me on Youtube, pinterest, Facebook , Twitter and instagram to keep you up to date with all the latest happenings on Chopstick Chronicles. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ChopstickChronicles so I can see your wonderful creations!

two apples, apple jam in a jar and a spoon

Japanese apple jam

Recipe for a delicious, subtly sweet Japanese apple jam that can be easily made at home. Save it to enjoy with yogurt, Shokupan toast, apple pie filling and more.

Course: seasoning

Kitchen: European/Japanese

Preparation time 2 hours

Cooking time 20 minutes

Total time 2 hours 20 minutes

Servings: 1

calories: 727calories

Author: Shihoko | Wands Chronicles

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Instructions

  • Wash and peel the apple.

  • Peel and core the apple. Save the peeled apple skin for later use.

  • Pour water into a large bowl and add a teaspoon of salt. Add the peeled and cored apple as you work. *2

  • Remove the apples from the salt water and cut them finely.

  • Place the cut apple in an enamel pan and also add the peeled skin. *3

  • Put the sugar on the apples and the skin of the apples and leave it for about 2 hours. The moisture in the apples will be squeezed out and you will see liquid at the bottom of the jar. *4

  • Place the pan over medium heat and add the lemon juice.

  • Bring the apple and apple juice extract to a boil. Skim off any scum on the surface with a small sieve.

  • Simmer for 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Once the color of the apple skin comes off in the liquid, remove all of the apple skin before the liquids thicken and discard. *5

  • While the jam is hot, pour the jam into a sterilized jar and close the lid tightly.

  • Cool to room temperature then refrigerate.

Remarks

*1 Any variety of apple can be used. I used 4 small royal gala apples of 350g. Measure the weight of the apple as it determines how much sugar you need.
*2 *3 Around the skin and core of the apple, it contains more pectin. To add some color and more pectin, I added the peeled skin, then removed it later. If you have peeled off long strips, it is easier to remove.
*4 Due to the penetrating action of sugar, the pectin inside the apple comes out with moisture. It can be left for more than 2 hours. I often prepare the apple the day before and leave at this stage overnight.
*5 Apple jam can be crushed if you like that kind of texture, but I like the apple to hold its shape, so I usually use a firm-fleshed apple for that reason.
*6 The shelf life of jam depends on the sugar content and the method used to sterilize the jar. For this method and its sugar content, it will keep for about 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

calories: 727calories | Carbohydrates: 189g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 374mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 176g | Vitamin A: 190UI | Vitamin C: 21.9mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.4mg