Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Food: Apple Jelly

It is that time of year again... so, I figured I'd share another tutorial.

To make Apple Jelly you need apple juice. Now, you could probably use bottled juice or even frozen juices, but we use the real thing.

How exactly do you we get the apple juice?

Peel, core, and slice your apples, cook them in a little water til they are tender, and then strain the juice. You can see photos of the process on my Applesauce tutorial.

You can also boil your apple peels and make jelly from those if you'd like to do that. Just make sure you wash the apples before you peel them. Boil your peels and run them through a food mill. Save the juice. Toss the pulp out to the chickens.

Get your jars ready...
Be sure to sterilize them.

There are several methods... you can sterilize them by running them through your dishwasher I've heard or by complete immersion in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes and kept hot until ready to be filled.  Someone even suggested heating them in the oven at 250. However, using the dishwasher with a heated dry would probably be the quickest and easiest way to do it.

Wash your lids and rings. Cover with simmering water before placing them on the jars. 

For your jelly, you will need...

5 level cups of juice
1 pkg of Jel-Ease
7 level cups of sugar

The recipe says to get 5 cups of juice you will need 4 lbs of apples to cook in 4 cups of water. This should yield 7 1/2 cups of jelly.  

Since we just save our juice from the applesauce making process, we don't really measure the amount of apples we had to begin with. We just save the juice in a large jug and then measure the juice out to make the jelly. 

Measure your sugar out in a bowl, set to the side. 

Put your juice in a cooker, stir pectin into the juice, place on heat and bring it to a full boil. Stir continuously. 

Now add in your sugar, slowly. 

Bring it back to a full rolling boil. {{It can not be stirred down}}

Stir constantly. 

Use a timer and boil for 2 minutes. 

Remove from heat and skim off the foam if you wish. 

Fill your hot jars. Leave 1/4 inch of headroom. 

Now wipe any juice from the rims of the jars and quickly put on your lid and ring while the jam is hot. You may need to hold the jar with a dishtowel while you put the lid on. They say fingertip tight.

The Ball Blue Book of Preserving says the next step would be to process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner. To do this you just put the jars on the canning rack and lower them into simmering water. Make sure they are covered by at least one inch of water. Cover with lid and heat to a steady boil for the amount of time on the recipe. Turn off the heat and let the jars stand in the water for 5 minutes. Remove jars from water and sit them upright on a towel on the counter for 12 hours. 

Now with that being said, I normally don't do the processing at the end. We eat our homemade jelly so fast there really isn't a need for it. After we put the lids on we leave them sitting on the stove top. In about half an hour they jars should be sealed. When they seal the tops will be flat or even look like they are caved in a smidge. There will be no bump on top and it won't make a popping sound when you touch them. If the jars haven't sealed, and the jam is still hot, turn the jar upside down for about 15 minutes. It should seal. Then we put in the fridge and forget it. But you may want to do what book calls for if you aren't going to eat yours straight away.

That's it. Enjoy! 

I'm sharing this post at Farmgirl Friday.

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