Apple Jelly

4 August 2014

Apple jelly – jars full of summer gold can be yours – it’s oh so easy!

With the early start to spring we enjoyed this year we are in for a good apple harvest this year and the branches are already bending under the weight of the apples – but they are not ripe for picking yet.  Should you lose a branch or two of apples due to breakage do not despair – and rescue the apples whatever you do!

Green (as in unripe) apples are packed full of pectin – perfect for jellying up all manner of preserves, or just to enjoy as apple jelly itself.

Apple Jelly

 Pick over your batch of rescued apples, discarding anything dodgy or damaged.

 Cut the apples into bite-sized pieces (no need to peel or core them), place in a saucepan and cover with an equal quantity of water (i.e. 1 kg apple pieces:1 litre of water). Unripe apples do not yet have much juice of their own so you need the water to get the pectin out of them – if you are using ripe, juicy apples then reduce the water quantity by about half.

 Boil the apple pieces in the water until soft, mushy and falling apart.

– Remove from the heat and leave to strain through a jelly bag (or a sieve lined with a clean cloth) into a large bowl or clean saucepan overnight.

– Discard the apple pulp and measure out the strained liquid. Place in a saucepan with an equal volume of sugar i.e. 1 kg of sugar to 1 litre of juice. If that sounds like a lot of sugar for your taste you can scale down to 750 g sugar per litre of juice but do not go much below that otherwise you are going to comprise the set and the preservative function that comes from the sugar. * This is the point at which to add any flavourings – see below.

 Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and then bring to a rolling boil for 20 to 30 minutes until setting point is reached (to test: drip a few drops onto a cold saucer, allow to cool, push the drops with your finger – if they wrinkle you have reached setting point. If not, keep boiling and test again).

 Pour into hot, sterilised jars, seal immediately and store in a cool, dark place.

Apple jelly keeps almost indefinitely and can be used as a source of pectin for other jams and jellies, or enjoyed on its own.

* You might want to consider adding some flavourings and give away jars as gifts:

– apple with ginger – add a couple of pieces (according to taste) of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped to the strained juice and leave the ginger pieces in the jelly when you bottle it.

– apple with orange – add a quantity (according to taste) of grated orange zest to the strained juice and leave in the jelly when you bottle it.

– apple with vanilla – add a vanilla pod to the strained juice and leave in during boiling. Remove the pod just at the end of the boiling and add a teaspoon or two (according to taste and quantity of jelly) of powdered vanilla to the jelly before bottling.

I also add a piece of star anise to a couple of my jars (works with all of the flavourings above) to keep aside as Christmas presents…


7 thoughts on “Apple Jelly

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