3 ½ pounds Apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 3 ½ cups Sugar ½ cup Water 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract 3 tablespoons Brandy (optional)
In a large pan, cook the Apples covered, over low heat until they are soft. Add just enough water to keep them from scorching. Once the Apples are soft, puree them. In another large pan combine the Lemon Juice, Water, and 2 cups of the Sugar. Do not stir, but bring this syrup mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer / gentle boil until the Water has evaporated and the syrup has turned golden brown. Once it has turned golden brown, immediately remove from the heat. Add the apple puree to the Caramel, which will harden at first but will begin to dissolve. Put back on low heat and add the remaining Sugar. Constantly stir until completely mixed. Raise the heat to medium and bring the jam back to a boil. Continue stirring while boiling for 8 minutes or until the jam is thicken enough that your spoon briefly leaves a clear track at the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat, stir in Vanilla Extract, and Brandy (if using). Ladle the jam into desired jars. Process jars in a water bath for 10 minutes.