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Apple, Honey and Rose Water Jam

Apple, Honey and Rose Water Jam

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 35–40 minutes

Yield: 4 8-ounce (235-ml) jars

This is a special preserve that combines traditional foods and flavors for Rosh Hashanah in both Ashkenazi and Sephardic cuisine. Apples, of course, are a fall crop and thus plentiful at Rosh Hashanah. Beginning Rosh Hashanah dinner by dipping apples into honey, to symbolize the hope for a sweet new year, is nearly universal among Eastern European Jews. The Sephardim often end their new year’s celebrations with sweet jams and preserves made from quince, figs, dates and apples.

Rose water, which is made by distilling fresh rose petals in water, is featured in many Sephardic desserts and pastries. It can be purchased at Middle Eastern grocers and specialty food stores. Rose water has a very strong flavor and should be used sparingly or it can overwhelm your palate. Here it adds a haunting floral note to this unusual, pale yellow jam.


  • 3 pounds (1.4 kg) apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½-in (1-cm) dice (6–7 cups prepped)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
  • 1½ cups (300 g) sugar
  • 1 cup (340 g) honey
  • 1 teaspoon rose water


  • Prepare a boiling water bath and heat four 8-ounce (235-ml) jars. Place the apples, ½ cup (120 ml) of water and lemon juice in a wide, deep saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir and cover the pot. Lower the heat to medium, and cook until the apples are soft, about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice to prevent sticking or burning. Mash the apples coarsely with a fork or potato masher. Add the sugar and honey to the pot, stirring to dissolve. Return to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick and mounds up on a spoon, about 10 to 15 minutes. It will splatter, so use caution. Remove the jam from the heat and stir in the rosewater. Ladle jam into clean, warm jars, leaving ¼ inch (0.6 cm) of headspace at the top. Bubble the jars and wipe the rims with a damp cloth. Place the lids on the jars and screw on the rings just until you feel resistance. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Allow to cool in the water for 5 minutes before removing. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.
  • From The Joys of Jewish Preserving by Emily Paster, © 2017 Quarto Publishing Group. Used by permission from the publisher, Harvard Common Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group. All photographs by Leigh Olson. 

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