Tried to make crab apple jelly for the first time (with cinnamon and ginger) boiled up 1.5 kg apples with 1.2l of water yesterday and think I might have left it simmering for too long.
As today, when I've drained it I've only got just over 500mls/1 pt of juice to make jelly is it normal to not make a lot of juice with this? I made hedgerow jelly recently which produced a lot more liquid. I'm now contemplating picking more apples and trying to make more (will the juice I already have keep?)
Another query I'm afraid - how long do you normally boil the juice/jelly for? Recipe I was looking at said 5 mins but another recipe I looked at said about 35 mins? (I now have a few pInts of liquid, though it might taste a bit strange as I had to mix 2 different types of crab apple)
After you've extracted your juice, then I put one cup of juice to one cup of granulated sugar and start boiling. My recipe says 15 minutes but there is no way I have ever got it to set in that time.
So, weird tip of the day, put several small plates in the freezer, and when you think the jelly is setting, to see if it is, take plate from freezer, put a spoon full of jelly on it, wait for it to cool a little, then push your finger through it to see if it 'wrinkles'. Trust me on this
Once it wrinkles sufficiently you can start jarring up, but really do wait until you get a decent wrinkle (otherwise you will end up with jars of very sweet apple juice that you have to tip out and boil up again).
I find the boiling up bit can take a long time.....
I wouldn't worry about the two different types of apple at all.
Cheers for that - I did use the frozen saucer test and boiled for about 20/25 mins I think. Turned out very nice - well the leftover bit I put in a bowl seems very nice as I just had it on a fresh bread roll!
Thanks for that even DH is impressed with it as he was very sceptical.
I made (or tried to make!) some on Sunday too, my first attempt at any kind of jam/jelly making. I got about 2.3lts of juice, however I'm confused as to whether I did the right amount of sugar? The recipe said 10 parts liquid to 7 parts sugar, so is 1ltr of liquid and 700g of sugar right? It's very sweet.
Also, when I was pouring in, I got some of the scummy stuff (which I had been trying to skim off) mixed in, so now it has some 'bits' in the jelly in the jar and isn't completely clear IYSWIM?
I think you started off with a diffcult one SpecialJK!
Mine is quite sweet as well (I used 1pt liquid to 500g of sugar i think though when it was measured out i took some out again as I thought it might be too sweet).
I had to spend ages skimming off the scummy bits while it was boiling as well as there was loads - far more than anything else I've made. Not sure if you can reboil and skim more off? Or in jam i think you can add a knob of butter which removes the scum somehow - maybe a more experienced jelly maker can confirm if this works?
Don't worry about the scum, it won't affect the taste, just the colour.
My normal recipe is a kilo of sugar to a litre of liquid but I knocked that back quite a bit last time (because I didn't have enough sugar ) and it was fine. I think the thing is it's supposed to be 'jam sweet' iyswim, but that's too sweet for my tastebuds, when I made my first batch to those proportions I couldn't taste the apple, just the sugar.
Savoury apple jelly is lovely too.
Add a few chillies to the boil, take the sugar down by about 20/25% from the standard recipe. Very quickly blanch some woody herbs - rosemary, thyme, tarragon in boiling water (this is just to make sure they're clean, you probably don't need to do this step but I stress about bugs in my jelly!).
Remove the chillies when the liquid is at setting point, put a sprig of herbs in each jar, then add your jelly as usual.
sounds good. My neighbour has given me some apples (she also gave me the crab apples ) and I was going to try making a spiced apple jelly recipe I found.
I think I also boiled it too long last time, as it set really quickly when I was pouring it into the jars, or else my jars weren't warm enough? I had them in the oven at about 130 for 30 mins, but turned down the heat afterwards, do I need to keep them hot?
lastly, if I'm using Kilner jars, do I need waxed circles??
I always let both my jam/jelly cool a little before pouring it in the slightly cooled jars (helps the fruit in it, if jam, distribute evenly) and I just continued the same with jelly. I did put wax discs on jelly, I think it's chutney you don't need them on.
Oops. I followed a recipe for quince jelly online and added a spring of thyme to each jar, but didn't blanch it. I did wonder at the time of the wisdom of adding unsterilised herbs from the garden to sterile jars... Hope they're ok.
I've found that adding a small knob of butter and giving a quick stir at the end really does disperse a lot of the scum - perhaps it emulsifies it somehow?? But the froth is delicious and has a really nice texture IMO and I eat most of it out of the bowl I skim into I'm also finding that most recipes call for too much sugar for my taste - you do need the sugar to help the preservation but I read somewhere that you need at least 50% sugar. Most receipes call for adding 450g sugar to each 600ml juice, which makes it too sweet imo. Hope I've not just spent a week potting up lots of jelly that will decay...
I don't use the waxed circles if I'm potting into metal lidded jars, only if I'm going to top with cellophane. Is that ok?