Choose the Best Ingredients for Your Jelly
I have made jelly and jam many times over the years. Some are far better than others. Some have failed to set (thicken without being watery). And some lack that special flavor I am looking for. I have learned not to compromise when selecting the ingredients to insure the best results.
With my recent batch of apple cinnamon jelly, instead of picking apples from and old orchard off the ground or the tree I bought some very sweet Macintosh apples from a local vendor. Not only are they my favorite choice for eating raw, but they are great for any recipe requiring that great apple flavor.
Preparing the Juice
Extracting the juice will be the most time-consuming part of making good jelly. This is the method I use.
You will need 8-9 cups of apple juice. For best results dilute as little as possible. This will take 5-8 pounds of fresh apples depending on how ripe and juicy they are. Any apples will do, but I think the Macintosh make delicious jelly. The smaller apples yield more juice per pound. Do not core and peel. Much of the flavor is there.
Cut apples in quarters or smaller, then place them in a large kettle (a stock pot works well) and cover them in water. Over medium flame cook apples until they are soft before you remove them from the heat. This will be extremely hot. It is wise to let it cool some, while still leaving them hot enough to extract the juice easily.
Take this time to go ahead and wash your jelly jars and lids/rings, rinse in hot water, leave the lids/rings in the hot water until ready to use.
Now make a bag from double layered cheese cloth and ladle the hot apples into it with a slotted spoon. Cheese cloth generally comes on a roll and is like a long tube ready to be cut to size. Cut about two feet or so from this roll. Then do it again so you can double it, put one inside the other and tie at bottom. Place in some sort of container, bowl or pan where it is easy to fill the tube without losing any juice. Be sure this container will hold the amount of juice needed for the jelly if this is the container you are using to drip your juice into. Tie off jelly bag and hang it from a cupboard door or somewhere slightly above the bowl you are filling. This will take a while, maybe as much as an hour. You may need to squeeze the jelly bag from time to time to encourage more juice and speed up the process. This is the method I use. You may find it less work to use a juicer and faster. Just don’t use one that leaves a lot of pulp. You want just the juice. We are not making applesauce.
I have also made jelly bags from a white towel, terry cloth or linen will work. But don't use colored ones. We don't need dye in our fruit juice.
- 5-8 pounds apples, quartered or smaller
- 4 pounds sugar, good quality, not too fine
- 1 pk dry pectin
- 4-5 sticks cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Apple Cinnamon Jelly
When you have enough juice (8-9 cups) put it in a kettle over high heat, stir in a package of dry pectin, (Sure Jell or similar), throw in 4 or 5 cinnamon sticks and sprinkle in about a tablespoon of dry cinnamon. Bring it to a boil.
Keep boiling until you reach a boil that you can’t stir down. Now slowly pour a four-pound bag of sugar (8 cups) into the kettle. Stir constantly for 2 minutes. No more than 1 minute at full boil. It will take a minute for it to reach that boil.
Be sure this sugar is not very fine. High quality sugar makes a huge difference as to rather your jelly will set properly. I use Domino, but there are others that may work as well. Any sugar that works well for candy, will also work well for jelly.
They do make a pectin that requires no sugar. I have never tried to make the sugar free jelly, so I cannot tell you how well that will work.
Remove from heat. Skim any foam forming to the top. Then fill your jars. Do not include the cinnamon sticks as they will take up too much space in your jars. Apply lids with rings. Listen for them to seal one by one. Any jars you fill without sealing lids may be placed in refrigerator until they set or are ready to use. You may also melt paraffin wax and cover the top of jelly to preserve it.
This makes about 10 cups of jelly.
Cinnamon is a Healthy Additive to Your Diet
Apple Cinnamon jelly is great on waffles, pancakes, toast, biscuits, and crackers. It makes a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich as well.
It packs a punch that plain apple jelly can't compete with. The benefits of adding cinnamon is a healthy choice. Cinnamon has nutrients the body needs. It promotes alertness for a healthy brain. It helps lower cholesterol and keeps blood sugar under control. Cinnamon is high in fiber and calcium. The anti inflammatory properties help with arthritis pain.
© 2017 Diana L Pierce
Susan Roces on October 08, 2020:
Hi! Thank you for the recipe. Is it possible to use a juicer before the apple boil. Getting the fresh juice from the juicer and use that to boil?
Diana L Pierce (author) from Potter County, Pa. on November 04, 2017:
I have added some more detail to this hub. I hope I've made it easier to follow.
Diana L Pierce (author) from Potter County, Pa. on November 03, 2017:
It makes about 10 cups, I better edit the recipe. Thanks K@ri for asking.
Kari Poulsen from Ohio on November 03, 2017:
This apple jelly sounds delicious! How many containers does the recipe make? :)