What a great fall we have been having! We are having cool nights and very warm days.
Last fall while living with my in laws I learned how to make apple jelly so this year I was excited to give it a try myself. So I took the kids last week out to their nannie and papa's house to pick these "beauties".
After getting two bushels of apples we brought them home to start the process. First I cut the apples in half or quarters depending on their size. Because you boil the apples down and then strain the liquid you don't have to peel them or core them. Just through everything into a pot and add some water. I filled the pot up with apples and the water was about 1/2 way. Let the apples boil down for about 2 hours.
The longer you boil it down the more you will get a good apple pectin; which helps with the jelling process if you are not using Certo. To strain your apples you can use a cheese cloth but what I do is use an old pillow case that I lay over a roster and hold it in place with clothes pins. Then I spoon the apple goo onto the pillow case and let it sit so the liquid drains through the cloth. The longer you let it sit the more juice you are going to get.
Once the roaster is filled with juice I poured that juice into 4 L water jugs and put it into the fridge. I wanted to do all the boiling of the apples first before I started the jelly. When I was finished with all the apples I had almost 2 full water jugs which was 8L of apple juice!
When I was ready to start the jelly process I decided to do 5 cups of juice at a time that way it was easy to mange (since I have 3 small children) and if it didn't jelly then I could easily reboil it.
So here is the jelly method I used. For every 1 cup of juice use a full 1/2 cup of sugar. Bring that mixture to a boil and let it cook at a good rolling boiling for 15 minutes. While it is boiling place a small plate in the freezer. When the 15 minutes is up take out the plate and drop a spoon full of the jelly mixture onto the plate. Place the plate back into the freezer for 1 minute. When the timer beeps take the plate out and push the jelly with you figure from the edge to the center. If the jelly wrinkles in the center then you can pour the hot boiling liquid into hot jars and seal with clean lids. Let the jelly sit for at least 24 hours. If it doesn't wrinkle let it boil 5 more minutes and try again.
To get hot clean jars I like to give them a wash in the dishwasher first. When they are clean from there I place them on a cookie sheet and put them into a warm oven (~200). When I am ready for them I simply take the cookie sheet out and use a funnel to pour the hot liquid into them.
For clean lids and rings I place them into a mixing bowl. Boil the kettle and pour the boiling water over all the rings and lids and leave in bowl until ready to use.
Store your jelly in a nice cool place! I ended up making over 14 jars of jelly and one jar is 1 L. Eben loves apple jelly so much I think I might give him that jar as a Christmas present!
If you are giving away jelly as a gift simply unscrew the ring carefully and place a decorative cupcake liner over top of the lid.
Then screw the lid back on and ta-da you have a nice decorated bottle of jelly to give away.
What an inexpensive way to make jelly. Its just takes some time but you can do it in steps so its more manageable. I think from start to finish it took me 1 week. The bonus of the process; your house smells amazing!!!