- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Inexpensive
- Favorited: 5 Times
Can be made ahead of time.
There are some recipes that seem to have more in common with magic than plain old, everyday cooking. Apples have lots of natural pectin, so we wondered what would happen if you simmered down an entire gallon of good apple cider? The answer is you are left with a gorgeous amber-colored natural apple cider jelly. The only catch-this is true slow cooking-is that it can take up to three hours to transform one gallon of cider into about a cup of jelly, but trust us when we say it’s well worth the time. Making the jelly is a great project when you’re already in the kitchen baking cookies or other holiday foods.
Serve the jelly as a condiment with holiday roasts-we particularly like it with roast pork, lamb, and beef-or on your morning muffins and toast, with squash dishes, and even on top of butter cookies. Make a few batches and give the cider jelly as a gift.
Place the cider in a large, heavy pot and bring to a gentle boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 2 hours. After about 2 hours, the cider will begin to thicken and coat the back of a spoon. This is the time to pay attention. Keep cooking over a gentle simmer, on very low heat, for another 45 minutes or until the jam begins to thicken and the syrupy mixture comes to about 190 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Our jelly usually takes almost 3 hours to thicken. Let cool and place in a glass jelly jar. Refrigerate. The jelly will keep for several weeks.
Make a chile-spiced apple cider jelly: Wrap a chile pepper (that is cut in half, lengthwise) in a piece of cheesecloth and tie it up. Place the chile the cider for the first hour of cooking and then remove.
Make a mulled apple cider jelly: Wrap 1 cinnamon stick, 1 allspice berry, and 3 cloves in a piece of cheesecloth and tie it up tightly. Place in the cider during the first hour of cooking, then remove.
Make an herbal apple cider jelly: Add several fresh sage leaves or any fresh herb leaves during the first hour of cooking, then remove.
Nutritional information is based on 16 servings.