To juice your apples:
Wash apples. Remove stems, damaged areas and blossom ends, cut into quarters or slices. Don’t peel the apples – much of the pectin is in the peel. Place apples in a non-reactive heavy bottom stockpot (stainless steel or enamel). Add enough water to half cover apples. Cook until fruit is soft, stirring occasionally to avoid burning and promote even cooking. If you have sweet apples, you can add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for a more tart jelly. You may also make a spiced jelly by simmering whole spices such as cinnamon sticks, cloves or allspice (in a spice bag) with the apples while they are cooking to get soft. (Don’t add them to the boiling juice.)
To strain the juice:
Place well-cooked apples into a jelly bag strainer or flour sack towel in a colander. If using a towel, gather ends of the towel and hang it from an elevated location.
Measure out your juice and sugar.
- 1/2 cup honey for every cup of juice – or
- 3 cups of sugar for every 4 cups of sweet apple juice – or
- 4 cups of sugar for every 4 cups of tart apple juice
Cooking and canning the apple jelly.
- Place juice and sweetener into pan. Mix well. Make sure to use a large pot, as the jelly will boil up and foam a great deal during cooking.
- Cook at a high boil, stirring constantly, until the gelling point is reached (220°F (104 °C)).
- While the jelly is cooking, sterilize seven 8-ounce jars, keep hot. Prep two piece canning lids. Fill water bath canner and bring to boil.
- Ladle jelly into sterilized jars leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe rims clean and screw on the lids. Process the apple jelly for 10 minutes in water bath canner (add 1 minute for every 1,000 feet above sea level). Makes roughly 5 cups of apple jelly for every 6 cups of juice.
- Once jars have cooled, remove rings, date and label jars. Store in a cool, dark location out of direct sunlight. Use within 18 months for best quality.