Jelly. When most cooks think of making jelly, they envision a long process of boiling fruit and dripping it through a jelly bag for hours on end. While I'm all for traditional methods, sometimes we just don't have enough time to do things the old fashioned way. By using pectin, this jelly is lightning fast to make and will save you loads of time.
A quick side note: if you live in the midwest or northeast, you may have noticed many apple products going up in price, especially at farmer's markets. This was a very bad year for apple growers, with many farmers in the New York state area losing nearly 90% of their apple crops. Unseasonably warm weather early in the season, followed by a severe frost, hail storms, and drought have had a devastating effect on these farmers' income. Keep them in your thoughts this holiday season and let's all hope for a bountiful apple harvest next year!
APPLE CIDER JELLY
Adapted from Pamona's Pectin pamphlet & Lucy Baker, Serious Eats
1/2 tsp. whole cloves
1/2 tsp. allspice berries
1 cinnamon stick4 cups unfiltered apple cider
2 cups granulated sugar (or substitute with 1/2 to 1 1/3 cups honey)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 package Pamona's Universal Pectin (see notes below)
Fill the spice bag with cloves, allspice, and cinnamon stick.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine the apple cider and lemon juice and stir to combine. Stir in 4 tsp. calcium water, then add the spice bag. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar (or honey) with 4 tsp. pectin powder. Whisk to combine.
Once the cider mixture begins to boil, add the sugar and pectin mixture and stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin. Return the mixture to a boil and stir in the brown sugar. Allow the mixture to return to a boil once more and remove from heat.
Ladle the jelly into hot, clean jars, leaving a headspace of ¼-inch (don't worry if the jelly begins to congeal a bit, this is normal). Wipe rims and apply lids and rings. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water-bath canner (for 4 oz. jelly jars or 8 oz. half pint jars). Turn off heat and let jars sit in canner for 3 to 5 minutes before removing. Allow jars to rest on a dishtowel undisturbed for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Check seals, label, and store in a cool dark place for up to a year. If any jars did not seal properly, place them in the fridge and use first. For more information, see my step-by-step guide to canning here.
- Each box of Pamona's Pectin will include a packet of pectin powder and calcium powder. This recipe calls for 4 tsp. of calcium water and 4 tsp. of pectin powder. To make the calcium water, combine 1/2 tsp. calcium powder with 1/2 cup of water in a small jar with a lid and shake to combine (refer to Pamona's Pectin pamphlet for more information).
- You can find Pamona's Pectin at well-stocked grocery stores such as Whole Foods. You can also purchase it on the world wide web here.