November 15, 2018

Apple jelly

I keep experimenting using the various recipes and techniques, which I learned at the Summer preserves course using the different fruits, which I can get access to from gardens of friends and colleagues.

This time I got a bag of different apple types from a colleague as part of my preparation for the annual Christmas calendar. So look by in December to check out, what I need apples for.

As I had apples let from my Christmas experiment, I decided to make apple jelly using this recipe on red & black currant jelly as starting point.

As usual I always remove the core of the apple, as I do not like the bitterness from the apple kernel. Do not worry about removing the natural fruit pectin within the apple getting ride of the apple core. The pectin is not located in the apple core, the pectin is located in fruit part of the apple.

Compared to the recipe on red & black currant I decided to add in lemon juice for two reasons. First reason I use the lemon juice in order to reduce the browning effect of the apple after cutting, And the second reason is, that a higher acidity level (lower pH) will give a faster and stronger gelling inside the jelly.

If you work with smaller portion of jelly, when you should not stir the jelly during the cooking of the jelly mixture as this can give problems with too many air bobbles in the final jelly.

I noticed, that this apple jelly was extreme slow with regards to obtain the gelled texture. It took close to 1½ day for the jelly to gel, and the texture seems quiet soft (= not so firm). This can be due to several issues. Either the used apples were more matured in, so the content of natural active fruit pectin inside the apples were lower, the acidity level was to the high side (further adjustment by adding in more lemon juice or apple vinegar or the ratio between apple juice and sugar should have been 100 g sugar to 100 ml juice (as I used, when making this crab apples jelly).

It is actually quiet nerve racking turning the jelly jars slightly to see, if the gelled texture is where or not. And when thinking about how to "safe" a liquid jelly and get it too gel !!!

Apple jelly: 6-8 glasses per 1 kg apple
  • 1100 g apple - washed and cleaned, the stems and core removed
  • 750 ml water
  • 1½ lemon - only the juice
  • 450 g sugar per 600 ml juice or perhaps 100 g sugar to 100 ml apple juice ?
  1. Add water, and lemon juice into the cooking pan.
  2. Prepare the apples washing them, removing both core and peel and finally cutting the apple into small boat shapes. Place the apple boat in the liquid in the cooking pan.
  3. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, and let the apple simmer gently for 10-20 minutes, until the content becomes pulpy in appearance. 
  4. Mash the apple boat into apple mask structure.
  5. Place a jelly bag suspended over a large bowl.
  6. Pour the mashed apple/water into the jelly bag.
  7. Leave until, the bag has stopped dripping. Alternative night over.
  8. Prepared the jelly glasses. I add boiling water to the glasses, while other will heat the glasses in the oven at 120 minutes.
  9. Measure the amount of fruit juice and weight out 450 g sugar per 600 ml juice.
  10. Pour the fruit into large cooking pan and heat up the juice to the boil.
  11. Add in the (pre-heasted) sugar, Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  12. Bring the jelly mixture to a rolling boil (the jelly mixture has a lot of boiling foam on top).
  13. Let it boil for 4 minute as starting point.
  14. Test for a set after 4 minutes using the flake test (how the jelly is dripping from the cooking spoon). This is tricky, otherwise see, if the temperature is 104'C.
  15. When the the texture is right, remove the cooking pan from the heat. Start right away to remove any scum from the surface of the jelly, using a large metal spoon.
  16. Pour the jelly into glass jars, fill the jar to the top. Again remove any scum from the surface using a tea spoon.
  17. Seal the jar with a lid.
  18. Leave the glass upright and undisturbed to set.
  19. Store at ambient temperature. 

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