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Amazing, AMAZING use of GARBAGE. Seriously. You use the peels and the cores of apples (from pie making, sauce making, etc.) and icky apples you don’t want to eat, to make this ridiculously delicious jelly. Way better than my much-requested Raspberry Jam!
This recipe is all about generalizations. I say 4 pounds of apples and 4 cups of sugar because that’s about what I had the last time I made it. You will probably have different amounts.
All you really need to understand is: Use all the peels and seeds you can, because that is where the natural pectin is. I make this recipe in conjunction with making pies and applesauce. I have really ugly apples (go read the post at the related blog post link) and need a use for the ones we don’t eat. So the icky apples that I reject for pies and sauce plus the peels and cores from the apples for the pies all go into the jelly pot. I still marvel that I get something this good out of garbage!
Cook apples, peels, cores, lemon juice, fresh water and rosemary all together over lowest heat until everything is really soft (about 60 to 90 minutes), then strain through several layers of cheesecloth or use a jelly bag (which I have never laid eyes on, but know they exist. I use cheesecloth) for several hours or overnight. Do NOT press the solids at all, as this will make your juice cloudy. Just let it drain.
Measure the amount of juice you get after several hours of straining and add an EQUAL AMOUNT of sugar. That’s a 1:1 ratio of juice to sugar.
Bring the juice and sugar to a full, rolling, frothy boil in a large heavy pot and cook until a candy thermometer reads 220 degrees F. (Be sure to check the accuracy of your thermometer every few years by putting in boiling water. It should read 212 degrees F. Mine is off by 2 degrees and I know that and adjust. Two degrees can make a difference when making jelly!)
Skim off the foam. This matters more for jelly than jam, as the foam will be visibly suspended in the clear jelly. You don’t really see it in jams. It is harder than I thought to skim it (any suggestions?) and you can see a bit of it in my photo.
Ladle into clean, hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4″ of headspace at the top. (I always have a few more jars than I think I will need. Any jars that are partially filled go into the refrigerator for immediate eating!)
Wipe rims and seal. Heat process in a water bath or steamer for 10 minutes. Refrigerate any jars that don’t seal.
Simply to die for.
The basil, balsamic vinegar and black pepper really elevate the strawberries in this recipe. This can be used in sweet or savory applications.
If you are lucky enough to live where the cherries are aplenty I advise you to print out this Sweet Cherry Vanilla Jam recipe and tape it somewhere that you will not forget about it when the cherries come into season! Or you can use frozen cherries like I did.
This recipe was made using the new Ball Jam & Jelly Maker but you can make it the traditional way also.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!