Homesteading

Brandied Cinnamon Apple Preserves (Low Sugar Recipe)

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These apple preserves pair big slices of apple with cinnamon spiced brandy-infused syrup. They’re yummy on toast or pancakes, yet fancy enough for gift giving.

Quick tip – try a batch of these preserves without the calcium water and pectin. You’ll have a perfect spiced apple topping for cheesecake or ice cream.

Brandied Cinnamon Apple Preserves (Low Sugar Recipe)

Picking the Right Apples

For these apple preserves, you want a firm, crisp apple that holds its shape. We’re not aiming for applesauce or apple butter.

Some good varieties include:

  • Gala
  • Granny Smith
  • Braeburn
  • Honeycrisp
  • Jonagold
  • Fuji
  • Ida Red
  • Winesap

One pound of apples equals about 3 medium apples, so you’ll need around 6 for this recipe.

Brandied Cinnamon Apple Preserves Recipe

This recipe is adapted from Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin, which is my “go to” book for low sugar fruit spreads.

Since it is an apple preserve, we’re keeping the apples in slices. You can taste a hint of brandy in the finished product, but most of the alcohol cooks off during processing.

The brandy I used was from a booze stash handed down from my in-laws many years ago. Hard liquor lasts a REALLY long time, so you don’t need to worry about your brandy being old.

If you like, you can save your stems and peels to make homemade vinegar.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds crisp, hard apples
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons calcium water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin

Directions

Prepare your jars, lids, and rings. Fill water bath canner with water and heat it. Sterilize your jars.

Peel apples, remove stems and cores, and quarter them. Slice each quarter into several uniform lengthwise slices.

apple slices in sauce pan

Combine the apple slices in a large sauce pan with 1 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until apples are softened slightly but still retain their shape.

ingredients for apple preserves

Add cinnamon, brandy, lemon juice, and calcium water to the apple pot. Mix well.

In a medium bowl, combine sugar and pectin powder. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

Bring apple mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Add sugar-pectin mixture, stirring constantly, until sugar is completely dissolved. Bring the apple preserves to a rolling boil for one minute. Remove from heat.

apple slices in syrup

Ladle hot preserves into sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and wipe rims with a damp cloth. Put on lid and screw bands, tighten to finger tight.

canning apple preserves

Lower jars into canner, making sure they are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water. Place lid on canner, return to boil. Process jars for 10 minutes.

Turn off heat. Remove jars from canner and place on a kitchen towel on the counter top. Allow to cool for 8 – 24 hours.

Check seals. Remove rings, date, label and store in a cool, dry location. Best used within 18 months.

Make 4-5 half pint jars (4-5 cups).

apple preserves

What is calcium water?

Calcium water is made from water and the calcium powder included in every box of Pomona’s Universal pectin. (Get Pomona’s Pectin here.)

For more detailed instructions on how to make calcium water, see the package insert or the recipe for Maple Pear Jelly.

Can I use other sweeteners?

It’s okay to substitute sugar free sweeteners like Swerve that keep their sweetness when cooked.

If you want to use a less processed sugar like turbinado or sucanat, pulse it in a food processor a few times to break down the large granules. This will help it to dissolve more easily in the apple preserves.

Altitude Adjustments for Canning Apple Preserves

If your altitude is higher than 1000 feet above sea level, adjust boiling water processing time as listed below.

Altitude Feet                     Increase Processing Time

  • 1,001-  3,000                           5 minutes
  • 3,001-  6,000                         10 minutes
  • 6,001-  8,000                         15 minutes
  • 8,001-10,000                         20 minutes

Adapted from Fresh Preserving – High Altitude Canning Adjustments.

Is there a difference between apple jam and apple preserves?

Both jam and preserves have chunks of fruit, unlike jelly, which is made of juice. The difference is that in preserves, we keep the fruit whole or in larger chunks.

For an example of preserves using whole fruit, see strawberry vanilla preserves.

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Brandied Cinnamon Apple Preserves

apple preserves

These apple preserves pair big slices of apple with cinnamon spiced brandy-infused syrup. They’re yummy on toast or pancakes, yet fancy enough for gift giving.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 45 cups 1x
  • Category: Preserves
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds crisp, hard apples
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons calcium water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/3 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin

Instructions

  1. Prepare your jars, lids, and rings. Fill water bath canner with water and heat it. Sterilize your jars.
  2. Peel apples, remove stems and cores, and quarter them. Slice each quarter into several uniform lengthwise slices.
  3. Combine the apple slices in a large sauce pan with 1 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until apples are softened slightly but still retain their shape.
  4. Add cinnamon, brandy, lemon juice, and calcium water to the apple pot. Mix well.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine sugar and pectin powder. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  6. Bring apple mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Add sugar-pectin mixture, stirring constantly, until sugar is completely dissolved. Bring the apple preserves to a rolling boil for one minute. Remove from heat.
  7. Ladle hot preserves into sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and wipe rims with a damp cloth. Put on lid and screw bands, tighten to finger tight.
  8. Lower jars into canner, making sure they are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water. Place lid on canner, return to boil. Process jars for 10 minutes.
  9. Turn off heat. Remove jars from canner and place on a kitchen towel on the counter top. Allow to cool for 8 – 24 hours.
  10. Check seals. Remove rings, date, label and store in a cool, dry location. Best used within 18 months.

Notes

Once jars are open, store in refrigerator and use within 2 weeks.

Keywords: apples, preserves, canning

More Apple Recipes

We have over 100 recipes on the site, all listed by category on the Recipes and Kitchen Tips page. They include:

2 Ingredient Apple Jelly

Spiced Crabapples and Honey Cinnamon Crabapples

Autumnberry-Apple Cider Jam

Apple Blossom Jelly – A Great Use for Flowering Crab Apples

Apple Currant Spread – Low Sugar with a Touch of Cinnamon

Fried Apples with Maple Cinnamon Glaze (No Refined Sugar)

Easy Apple Cake with Caramel Topping

Cranberry Apple Pie 

Easy Apple Crisp

Source

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