Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Since I have more apples available to me than I know what to do with, I decided that MAYBE I could make apple jelly!? Didn't I see once on a table at some breakfast place little packets of apple jelly? Hmmm. Surely there's a recipe available on the internet somewhere for it.
Yep! A quick search brought up 2 recipes! Both blogs from other people that made it! Sadly, mine didn't end up like either of those blog recipes. Neither one of them used pectin in their recipe. Totally understandable considering that back in the old days they used to MAKE pectin from apples. However, when my juice had simmered down from 12 cups to 7 cups and it was still just juice and not thickening in the least, I decided to pull out my fruit pectin and use it to wrap this project up. So, that's what I did.
The cool thing about apple jelly is that you don't need to peel or de-seed the fruit! AWESOME! You just cut the apples into chunks with as many apples as you have on hand or until your pan is filled to the rim. Pour in water to boil the apples up and let them boil til soft. I think I let them boil for about an hour. Although the recipes I looked at said 35-40 minutes. It also said 10 cups of water and I only used 8, so I figured it would help in the long run with less water to boil off. But apparently not, because as I mentioned above, it was not thickening and after 3 hours of simmering I finally gave in and added pectin.
Ok, so after you boil your apples, the next step is to take a piece of cheesecloth folded over and line a colander, hang the colander over a larger bowl (hopefully the handles of the colander keep it up so that the liquid can drain into the bowl), pour in your apples and let the liquid drain. Do NOT press down on the apples! This will cause your juice to be cloudy! K, so just let your juice drain for a while. An hour? Two hours? Whatever you feel like doing. For some reason, both recipes said to put your bowls in the fridge overnight at this point. After mine drained, I did put it in the fridge just because I had stuff to do and it was a good stopping point for me. Also, I did 2 pots of boiled apples. I then merged the two bowls of apple juice and stuck them in the fridge and gave the apples to the chickens.
The next day I measured out my juice. I had 12 cups. I'm glad I remeasured before adding sugar. Because the recipes had said to add 3/4 cups of sugar for each cup of juice (standard for jelly). But after 3 hours of simmering and no thickening I noticed that the juice had gone down a lot so remeasured. 7 cups now. So that's what I went with and only added that amount of sugar. 3/4 cups of sugar to each cup of juice and 1 Tbsp of powdered pectin per cup. Finally it thickened up. I tested it by pouring a bit on a small bowl and sticking it in the freezer for a minute and testing it. When it was jelled coming back out of the freezer, I considered it done.
I put the jelly in sterilized jars and put on my lids and rings and processed them by bringing a pot of water to boil. Then I added the jars and let boil for 10 minutes. And there ya go. :)
So, you'll need:
Lots of apples
Lots of time
Lots of patience
And the ability to wing it if things don't go according to plan. :)
and pectin is questionable.
The two websites I looked at and was trying to go by are: