In apple season, there are only so many apple pies you can feed your family before they start to revolt. But you canâ€™t just let all those lovely apples rot, so if your family are getting twitchy and your freezerâ€™s jammed, make some Apple Jelly for a change. Better still, try making it with cider for a deeper flavour and richer taste.
We made ours with some dessert apples, a little sugar and a few pints of Worleyâ€™s Cider.
4lb (1.8kg) dessert apples
2pts (1200ml) Worleyâ€™s Cider (medium)
Â½lb (225g) jam sugar per pint of strained apple juice
(If youâ€™d like to use crab apples or cooking apples, increase the amount of sugar to 1lb per pint of juice, and use normal sugar rather than jam sugar. Omit the lemon)
1. Wash the apples and chop into quarters.
2. Place in a large heavy-based pan, skin, pips, cores and all.
3. Add the cider and bring to the boil. Put a lid on and gently simmer until the apple quarters have broken down and the fruit is pulpy.
4. Ladle the fruit pulp into a jelly bag and hang overnight. You can of course buy a proper one from a shop, but we had much more fun using some nylon mesh and a broom handle.
5. Put a saucer into the freezer. Measure the juice into a pan and heat gently. When warm, add the required amount of sugar (Â½lb sugar per pint of juice*) and the squeezed lemon juice. Stir till dissolved.
* Because apples vary so much in sweetness, youâ€™ll need to adjust the amount of sugar to your taste. Start with half a pound of sugar per pint of juice and add more if you want to.
6. When dissolved, turn the heat up and keep on a rolling boil for about 10-15 minutes. Test the jelly by dropping it onto the cold saucer and pushing your finger through. If it wrinkles, itâ€™s ready. If you like a harder-set jelly, boil for a bit longer, but not too long or itâ€™ll get gummy.
7. Pour into clean jars straight away and put the lid on. (We run our jars through the dishwasher to clean them and donâ€™t specifically sterilize or boil them â€“ it seems fine, no mouldy jelly as yet).
Use in gravies and sauces, as an accompaniment to roast pork, or spread on buttery toast.