Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Apple Jelly

Apple jelly is a small bite of heaven. Subtle in flavour, delicate in texture, and deliciously sweet. Perfect on a piece of toast for breakfast. Like most jellies, apple jelly is more work than your standard fruit jam because the juice needs to first be extracted from the apple. This is an old style jelly that does not rely on commercial pectin to set, but the extra work is well worth the end result.

Makes four 500ml jars of jelly
Apple Juice
- 10 lbs cooking apples
- water

- 8 cups apple juice (from above)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 6 cups sugar

1. Remove stem and blossom end from the apples, then quarter (no need to core). Place in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to bubbling, then loosely cover. Reduce heat and cook for about 20-30 mins, mashing the apples as they soften. Don't cook too long, just until the apples are soft and easily mash-able.
2. Line a large colander with a wet tea towel and place over a large pot or bowl. Dump cooked apples into the colander and let drain for at least 2 hours. The juice will be thick, clear, and slightly pink.
3. Measure out the juice to make sure you have 8 cups. Place in a large pot, add lemon juice and sugar. Bring to boiling over med-hi heat. Boil hard for about 25 mins, stirring regularly. The jelly should sheet off a cold metal spoon when it is ready. Quite frankly, I have never figured out exactly what this means. You will find that the jelly will begin to coat the spoon you are using to stir the jelly.
4. Skim off foam, pour jelly into sterilized and warm jars, screw on lids finger tight, then process in boiling water (making sure jars are fully submerged) for 10 mins. Remove from heat, remove lid, and let cool for 5 mins. Remove from water and let fully cool. Jelly will fully set as it cools.