Organic Apple Jelly

We are thrilled that writer, chef, and cookbook author Greg Atkinson has shared the following recipe with us.

Apple jelly just might be the quintessential preserve. It tastes great on toast or hot biscuits, serves as a glaze for tarts made from other apples or any other fruit, and just standing there in the jar, the sparkling amber gel is sheer beauty, like sunlight captured in a jar.

(makes about 1 8-ounce jar per pound of fruit)

1.) Fill a heavy stockpot or large saucepan with cut-up apples. Include the skins, the cores, and even the seeds. Barely cover the apples with water and then, over medium heat, bring the apples to a slow simmer.
2.) Cook the apples 20-30 minutes, or until completely mushy, then pour the mush into a bowl lined with a special jelly bag, several layers of cheesecloth, or a clean, flannel pillowcase (my favorite choice.) Hang the bag above the bowl. You may secure the bag by closing the top of it in a cabinet door above the bowl. Allow the juice to flow from the bag for several hours or overnight. Discard the solids.
3.) Measure 4 cups of juice plus ¼ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice into a large saucepan and, over high heat, bring it to a boil. Add 4 cups sugar to the boiling juice and cook at a hard boil. When a clean metal spoon is dipped into the boiling liquid, it will run off in two distinct streams; but when the jelly is cooked, the two streams will come together. This joining of the streams is called “the sheeting test,” and it occurs at 220 degrees. Cook the jelly until the sheeting test or a thermometer indicates that it is ready then pour it into sterilized, half-pint jars and screw on the two-part lids.
4.) Process the sealed jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes then let them cool to room temperature. The jelly might take several hours to set. Store the jelly in a cool, dark cabinet for up to one year.

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