Apple, Lime and Vanilla Jam

 

Apple, Lime and Vanilla Jam

Apples and limes are a magical combination and the vanilla balances the bite of the lime very well.  This is a rather tart, cheeky little preserve - quite unexpected and delightful on English muffins.  If you have a lime tree, this is a must!
 Apple Lime and Vanilla Jam

1kg Granny Smith Apples, peeled and finely diced

1kg Limes

Zest and juice of 2 lemons

2.75 kg sugar

1 vanilla bean, split down the middle, seeds scraped into the pan

3 whole cloves

¼ teaspoon of salt

¼ cup Sour-Apple Liqueur

Wash all fruit in hot water, ensuring all wax, labels and imperfections have been removed.  Using a zester, remove all zest from the limes and place in a large heavy bottomed pan with the apples, lemon juice and zest, cloves and salt. 

Trim all pith from the fruit pulp and discard pith (the white bits - they are tough and can be bitter).  Dice the flesh and add to the pan, covering with the sugar.  Split the vanilla bean down the middle and add to the pan. Turn on the heat, allowing the sugar to warm through before increasing the heat to boiling point. 

Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly for 10-15 minutes or until the desired consistency is reached.  Skim out any remaining pips or scum.   Allow to cool slightly before adding liqueur*. 

To test for setting place a saucer in the freezer and dab hot jam onto the plate.  If the skin wrinkles when you run a spoon through it as it cools the jam should set well.  If setting is not progressing, commercial setting agent can be added, alternatively add an additional cup of sugar dissolved in lemon juice.

Allow to stand for 10 minutes before ladling into prepared jars - should yield at least 7 good-sized jars.

 * If you add the liqueur while the jam is still at near-boiling point the mix will foam up violently - probably over the sides of your pan and possibly onto you - burning you and your stove.  I have learned this from experience and can't say that I particularly recommend it.