So, I decided that I would take advantage of the long weekend to put up some apple jelly from some early apples the neighbors have growing next door. I don't particularly like these neighbors, but they're better than some. And, they have an early variety of apple tree (two of them) that they can't use all the apples from.
We live in a fairly cold zone (Prince George, BC - zone 3, I think) so it seems like a crying shame not to take advantage of whatever will actually grow and thrive up here. My garden burnt and died this year - I have some cherry tomatoes just now coming into ripeness, and that's all she wrote. Okay, where was I? right - taking advantage of growing.
So, regardless of how I feel about my neighbors, I asked for some apples, and said I would give them some jelly in return. He was just happy to have them not on the ground. The apples are a very pretty rosy color, which makes for some very nice colored jelly:
The flecks in the jelly are apple pie spices - I cooked the juice with four cinnamon sticks, and added about a teaspoon of ground cloves, and maybe two teaspoons of nutmeg. I also add about a quarter cup of lemon juice to counteract all the sweetness of the sugar.
So, I got about 24 cups of juice from the neighbors (and from 6 unripe green apples from my mom's tree - for the pectin and flavour) and I also fortified it with a carton of Sun Rype unsweetened not from concentrate apple juice. It produced about 29 cups of jelly:
I used about 15 cups of sugar, and about double the amount of pectin the recipe called for - it just seems, for whatever reason, I always need to double the pectin in the instructions.
I'm only giving about five of these away, as my family was bitterly unhappy about not having enough last year. What they've forgotten is that my Mom's tree still has to ripen, so there will be another batch this fall.
I really love this jelly used as a glaze on pork roast - SOOOOOO good!