Autumn Apple Cider Jelly Recipe
Makes 5 half-pints with a bit left over for sampling.
1 quart (4 cups) fresh apple cider (UV-treated tastes better than pasteurized, if you buy it from a store)
Optional spice mix: one stick cinnamon, big pinch of whole allspice, pinch whole cloves, pinch cocoa nibs, one dried chili pepper
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 t. calcium water (in Pomona box)
4 t. natural pectin (in Pomona box)
If you’re planning to spice your cider, start the day before canning. Measure out your cider and place in a jar or bowl that can be covered. Add cinnamon stick. Place the other spices in a little cheesecloth square that can be tied shut with string, then add to the cider. (OK, if you’re lazy like me, just add the spices without the cheese cloth and strain the juice later.) Refrigerate cider with spices overnight.
Before beginning your jelly, wash your jars and sterilize them by boiling them in your canner for 5 minutes. Wash your new lids and your rings. Keep the lids and rings in water at a simmer (180 degrees), don’t boil them, in a small pot on the stove. Filter out the spices from your cider and pour into a medium-sized pot.
To make jelly, follow the instructions on the bottom of the Pomona instruction sheet. I adapted my recipe from the instructions for “tart apples.” These are, basically, as follows:
Add calcium water and lemon juice to cider in the medium pot. Bring cider up to a boil as quickly as possible.
As cider is heating, mix together the pectin and the sugar in a small bowl. Skim foam that rises to the surface of the cider.
When the cider comes to a boil, add in the sugar/pectin mix, stirring constantly for one minute, to melt the pectin. If you don’t stir constantly, it will lump.
Remove from heat, fill hot jars, leaving a quarter-inch headspace, wipe rims, cover with lids and rings, and process for five minutes in a boiling water canner.
This recipe makes a firm jelly that will hold its shape. You can unmold it from the jar by running the jar under hot water for a few seconds if you’d like to serve it at a party with cheese and crackers.
Enjoy fall in its finest, jellied form.