This year has seen a bumper apple harvest, possibly the biggest in decades, so like many of you I've had my work cut out keeping up with the crates of apples piling into my kitchen. NAH has been most happy for me to convert a fair portion of the spoils into the pictured jars of his favourite apple jelly. As you can see all kinds of jars have been pressed into service.
- 5lb apples - washed, de-stalked and any bad parts removed
- 2 pints water
- Sugar - I find granulated is fine, though others recommend the qualities of jam sugar for reduced cooking times and ensuring a good set
- Add the water to a very large pan (a preserving pan or pressure cooker sized) and start to slowly bring to the boil
- Meanwhile chop the apples and add to the warming water (this ensures no apples turn brown whilst waiting for the others to be chopped)
- When all the apples have been added to the pan, crush them down lightly with e.g. a potato masher to ensure they're covered with water and to start releasing their juice
- Bring to the boil and then simmer for 45 minutes until the apples have turned to a pulp
- Turn off the heat
- Set up a jelly or muslin bag over a large bowl (see picture) next to the pan of apples
- Ladle the apples into the jelly bag - if your jelly bag is like mine you'll have to carefully hold it in place for the first couple of ladles to stop it from springing off the bowl. After that, the weight of the apples will hold it in place
- If needed, press down gently on the apples as you go, so they all fit into the jelly bag
- Leave the apples to drain into the bowl overnight
- Next day, remove the bag and wash it; and compost the apple solids or leave them outside for the birds
- Switch the oven on to its lowest setting and place your jars and lids inside so they can be sterilised whilst making the jelly
- Measure the juice into a large, clean pan and add 12oz sugar for each pint of liquid obtained
- Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring the liquid to a rolling boil
- Continue to boil for 25-30 minutes or until set point** is reached
- Pot the jelly into the warmed jars and cover. A ladle and jam funnel make this part of the process a lot less messy!
- Store in a dark cool place, though it's ready for eating straight away :)
For a quirky & eclectic look at gardening: http://vegplotting.blogspot.com More than a load of old vegetables!
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