Recipe: Spiced Apple Jelly
As part of my apple-themed celebration I wanted to come up with some interesting preserves. Obviously apples taste wonderful as they are and last reasonably well if stored correctly, however by preserving them in various ways you can make them last even longer and turn them into something really special and unique. Most of my preserving tends to be of the jam or chutney-making variety, so I decided to try something different for a change: jelly. Also, as some of the jars will probably end up as christmas gifts, I wanted the jelly to have a christmassy twist. What I came up with was Spiced Apple Jelly.
This is an unusual but incredibly tasty preserve which reminds me of the mulled cider I like to make. It is delicately spiced and sweet but with a sharp vinegary hit from the cider vinegar. If you want a more straightforwardly sweet preserve, simply omit the vinegar. I imagine the jelly will go well with roast pork or gammon but is also nice with cold meats or cheeses. I also plan on using it as a sticky glaze for roasting pork sausages and adding to gravies and sauces. It’s also pretty darn good straight from the jar :). Anyhow, without further ado, here is the recipe. Enjoy!
Spiced Apple Jelly
Makes approximately 5 small jarfuls.
- 1 kg of apples – a mixture of cookers and eaters works well (I used bramleys, russets, topaz and elstar)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 12 cloves
- 75ml cider vinegar
- granulated sugar
- Jelly bag
- Preserving pan or large saucepan
- large bowl
- measuring jug
- jam jars
Roughly chop the apples and place in pan. There is no need to peel and core. Cover with water (I used a little over 1 litre) and add spices. Bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.
Pour into a scalded jelly bag suspended over a large bowl. Leave to strain for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight. Don’t be tempted to prod or squeeze the jelly bag to get more juice out as this will make the jelly cloudy.
Measure out the juice and return to the pan along with 450g sugar for every 575ml (1 pint) of juice. I found I had exactly 2 pints of juice so used 900g sugar but obviously this will vary depending on how juicy your apples were, how long you strained them and how much water you used.
Stir in the cider vinegar and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for approximately 10 minutes until setting point is reached.
Pour into warm, sterlised jars, cover and seal. The jelly will keep for up to a year unopened, stored in a cool, dark place but once opened needs to be kept in the fridge and used within 3 weeks.