Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Apple Marmalade: A Perfect Glaze for Ham

Apple Marmalade

A word frequently used in historic contexts to denote a certain type of apple is Pippin. The name was used over the centuries to describe a variety of different apples. The word Pippin originally meant any apple grown from a pip (the hard little seeds contained within). By the late 16th century, the word referred to a hard, late-ripening apple with an acid flavor. Additionally, the name Pippin has been used to describe many different types of cider apples and eating apples. In America, the name Pippin referred to an American variety of apple known as the Newtown Pippin.

Newtown Pippin apples were developed in Newtown in what is now Long Island, New York. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew them. Click here to read more about this variety of apple.

Newtown Pippin Apples

Here is one of many historic recipes that specifically references the use of pippin apples:

Source: The Kentucky Housewife by Mrs. Lettice Bryan, 1838

This recipe for Apple Marmalade is from a 19th century American cookbook called The Kentucky Housewife published in 1839.  The author, Lettice Bryan, suggests using pippins for this recipe (quite likely the Newtown variety) or any other "nice cooking apple." Newtown Pippins are possibly the parent apple to the Ginger Gold variety of apple. Therefore, since I cannot get Newtown Pippins in my neck of the woods, I am using Ginger Golds for this recipe (I am assuming Mrs. Bryan would approve!):

Apple Marmalade: Modern Recipe Adaptation

Yield: About 5 Cups

3 Pounds Ginger Gold Apples (or any cooking apple you like)
2 1/4 Pounds Brown Sugar (I used true Muscovado brown sugar)
Peel of 2 Lemons, Grated or Cut in Long Thin Strips
1 Cup Water

  1. Peel, core, and slice apples very thin.
  2. Place apples, brown sugar, lemon peel, and water in a large heavy-bottomed (to prevent burning) stockpot. Set on the stove at medium high heat.
  3. Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to medium low.
  4. Cook uncovered for 60-75 minutes, until the apples become soft enough to mash and the liquid gets very thick. Stir frequently.
  5. When the apples are soft enough to mash and the liquid is thick and syrupy, remove from the heat and rough mash all of the apples (it's okay if it's a little lumpy).
This is the consistency of the marmalade when it should be removed
from the heat ready for the apples to be mashed.
  • Store in covered jars in the refrigerator or use a hot water canner to seal the jars.
  • Use as a glaze for ham or pork.
  • Mix into your favorite barbecue sauce.

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