Our tree has produced more apples this year then I know what to do with – some branches broke under their burden and we lost a couple dozen before they were ripe.
The apple tree was the first thing we planted when we moved in 6 years ago And in its first year we were lucky enough to get 10 apples, the next year 20, and then 40. Last summer was tough on fruit trees and bees and we only got about 30 apples, but this year has been incredible and I think we ended up with more then 80 apples-not bad for a 4ft dwarf tree that lives in a tiny 10ft plot.
Needless to say I have lots of apples;
I have given away apples to neighbours, made apple cake, let the kids eat multiple apples a day, and now have resorted to making apple sauce (I don’t even like the stuff, but my kids do…)
Thank goodness apple jelly can be made at the same time.
I love making jelly, I like the way it takes on the tone of the apples used to make it. I know combinations of varietys make for a well rounded flavour but I do enjoy the way small batches of jelly made from a single variety or one variety at different levels of ripeness capture a moment. Each has its own flavour and colour, from chartruse and tart, clear golden and sweet to rosey and fragrant-It always puts me in mind of Margaret Atwoods poem, Apple Jelly; when we preserve the summer’s harvest we are preserving more then fruit.
Apple sauce & jelly:
3 lbs apples, quartered.
Place in a pot with just enough water to cover.
Simmer until very soft.
Run through a food mill in batches. Discard stems seeds ans peel.
Separate juice from pulp :
With jelly bag or several layers (3-4) of cheese cloth lining the inside of a mesh colander. Let the pulp sit an hour or more(I usually let it sit in the fridge overnight).
Set aside liquid.
Combine with other fruit purees, sweeten or use as is. Can be dehydrated for fruit leather or placed in sterilized jars and processed in a hot water bath to preserve.
Combine apple juicecwith other juices, such as cranberry or use plain.
Juice may be processed in sterilized jars in a hot water bath to preserve or made into jelly.
In batches of no more then 4c. Place juice in a sauce pot with 3/4c sugar for every 1 cup of juice.
Simmer to jelly stage-about 20 mins (start testing after 10 minutes, between 10-30 is typical) then fill sterilized jelly jars.