We started this tradition of making apple jelly after Silje’s brother came over with parts of their apple harvest. We still have yet to get a decent harvest from our trees as they are a bit too young still. After that, we have made some more when the supermarkets have had very good specials on apples as well. This is a very versatile jelly that can be used just as a spread, with cheese, tapas or as a sweet addition to game dinner. We especially enjoy this with a good cheese platter and our boys will happily have it on sandwiches.
3,5 kg apples
2 litres water
Cut the apples very roughly into big chunks (into quarters is plenty). Put all the apples, seeds and all, into a large pot. Pour over the water. Boil until soft and leave to strain in cheesecloth over night.
What we normally do is;
Put a cheesecloth inside a normal strainer and put this over a larger bowl that is deeper, allowing the strainer to hang on the bowl and drip into it.
Pour the juice into a clean pot and boil the juice with;
1 kg sugar
70 ml lemon juice
When you get the texture you want, pour into sterilized jars.
The tricky part is knowing when the jelly is ready to be poured into jars. Our trick is to let it simmer, just on the point of boiling until it reduces. Then you will see when it is ready, because the reduced liquid will boil stronger and stronger and you have to turn down the heat. You should still test on spoon e to see if solidifies before pouring into the sterilized jars.
Decant into jars, seal immediately and leave to cool down. If the jars are properly sterilized and the seal works well, then these will keep for 6 months or even more if stored in a dark and cool place. Refrigeration is only necessary after you’ve opened a jar.
If you get some small, but nice looking jars, you will have some very nice little presents to give away for smaller occasions. We even used baby food jars and just added some decoration to them to make them look a bit nicer. In the end, it is the content that counts. 🙂
You can alter the taste by adding some spices, like cinnamon sticks or star anise to the cooking process.
Sterilizing the jars:
Whether you reuse or use new jars from the store, give them a good clean in the dishwasher first and then put them in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 10 to 15 minutes. Do this at the end of the cooking process so that you can take them out and pour the mixture into piping hot glasses.
When you take them out of the oven, place them on a wooden chopping board. Avoid putting them on chopping boards of stone or similar that are cold. They will likely break to the change in heat temperature then.
You can also boil the jars, but after some trials, we’ve found that we have better control using the oven.
Don’t leave the jars in the oven for too long, as it will weaken the glass.
If you use jars with glass lids, you can put them in the oven too. If they are metal lids or have plastic parts, then you should boil in water instead. They are less likely to handle the temperature in the oven. Boil then for 5 minutes and they should be ok.