I don’t know what it’s like around your neck o’the woods, but around here there has been an abundance of apples this year. As usual they haven’t all grown big, shiny and Euro approved looking, but there are lots that can be done with an apple glut.
You can use cookers like Bramley that haven’t quite made it or crab apples or any apple that’s tart and hasn’t bothered to grow big. (For bigger apples there are better uses I think).
You will need a preserving pan or cauldron for this.
Take all the apples and chop them in half or chunks leaving the core and pips in. the pips have pectin and that will help the jelly set later.
Throw them all into the pan (or as far as two-thirds up) sprinkle lemon juice to stop them going brown and then add enough water to cook them down.
Cook the apples to pulp.
Now you can strain the pulp through a bag if you want a really clear jelly, but if you want more apple use a sieve. I used a sieve, for a more appley but slightly more cloudy jelly.
Once you’ve done that you might find that the ‘juice’ is a bit too heavy and needs a little water.
Measure the juice back into your clean cauldron. For 6 pints of apple pulp-juice you will need just under 4 lbs of pectin sugar. Most recipes say more sugar than that, but with the pips in and the pectin sugar you should get a good set with less sugar and it’s better for the apple flavour.
Stir and boil for a good ten minutes and then test with a drop on a saucepan or use a jam thermometer. If you’ve made jam before you’ll see when it’s about right with the way it drips off the spoon.
Leave it to cool and see if it sets reasonably. If it doesn’t you can reboil with more sugar or (shh don’t tell) you can add gelatin. With apples I’ve not had to do the gelatin trick so it should work fine.
Sterilise your jars in a dishwasher or cook them with lids off in a hot oven for 8-10 minutes.
Jar up: Be very cautious adding cooled jelly to very hot jars as they can crack. I put a small amount in and let it settle first and then add more.
Sorry I don’t put definate weights and measures here but I don’t know them because I don’t use them. It’s a kind of eye-feel approach.