Rainy Saturday Onion–Apple Jam

I've had a hankering to make this concoction for a couple of weeks, ever since one of the characters mentioned a similar recipe in a book I was reading. I found a few recipes for jams or chutneys with both onion and apple, then came up with my own. Since apples are a high-acid, safe-for-canning food and I was using vinegar as well, I was confident in free-styling a bit.  

This recipe is perfect when you’re looking for a productive yet low effort (at least compared to salsa!) way to spend your Saturday. No fancy ingredients, so you probably have all this stuff in your kitchen already.

You’ll need:

  • 5 cups apples, peeled and chopped (about 7 apples; I used a mix of Gala and Granny Smith)
  • 5 cups onions, peeled and sliced (1.5 big red onions and 2 smaller white onions)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced fine
  • 2 T fresh ginger, peeled and diced fine
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 1 T mustard seed
  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups brown sugar
  • 3 t salt
  • 7 ½ pint (250ml) jars
  • Lids and canning rings

Directions for cooking and canning:

  1. Combine apples, onions, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, mustard seed, salt, and 2 cups vinegar in a large pot.
  2. Heat until boiling, then reduce to a simmer.
  3. Stirring occasionally, cook for at least 90 minutes. Once the apples are softened, used a potato masher to really smush 'em up. Or don't, if you like it chunky. 
  4. Add sugar and the last cup of cider vinegar. Continue to cook down until the consistency is thick and jammy. Probably another 30 minutes or so.
  5. When you’re getting close-ish, fill your canner with water and add your empty jars. Bring to a boil for at least 10 minutes. Don't skip this step with this recipe, since the canning time is less than 10 minutes. 
  6. Remove jars from canner. Empty the boiling water from one of them into a small pot and place the snap lids in there to soften.
  7. Quickly ladle hot jam into hot jars, using a wide mouth funnel. Leave 0.5 cm or a little more headspace.
  8. "Bubble" each jar with a skewer or chopstick to release any trapped air. Wipe each rim with a clean damp paper towel. Place the snap lid down and screw the ring on finger tip tight. 
  9. Put the jars into your water bath canner. Make sure there is at least an inch of water above the top of your jars. Put the pot lid on and return to the boil for 5 minutes. Don't start your timer until the water is boiling. 
  10. Remove jars from the canner. Enjoy the pops!