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Spiced Apple Jelly

Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:38 pm
by judyk
I make this jelly with cooking apples or crab apples, but any apple with a good flavour will do. Sweet and mealy doesn't work, though, I've found.

You will need:

1) A large lidded preserving pan or other large lidded pan with a heavy base
2) A jelly bag, or a sieve lined with a muslin square (muslin squares can be bought online)
3) A bowl to hold the juice (should hold at least 600 ml)
4) A method of suspending the jelly bag or sieve over the bowl - I use the type of jam straining kit with tripod metal legs, as these have a ring to hold the jelly bag, and metal legs that can usually be bent a bit to fit over your bowl (you may need to enlist the help of the toolshed keeper).

*Jars - I use variable sized jars for this recipe, depending on what I have available. If you are using more than 2 jars, you will need to increase the amount of star anise, cloves and bay leaves for reserving to put into the jars.


1 kg cooking apples, or other well-flavoured apples
2 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise*
15 cloves*
Half a nutmeg, grated
4 allspice berries
1 blade of mace, or 1/4 tsp ground mace
4 long pieces of clean orange peel
8 bay leaves*
100 ml cider vinegar
450 g jam sugar (I use jam sugar as it helps the jelly to set more quickly, reducing the loss of volume from long boiling times.)


Wash and cut up the apples into small chunks, leaving the peel and cores in. The cores will help the jelly to set, but I remove as many of the pips as I can find, as they do contain very small amounts of toxin. (Experienced jelly makers will have their own thoughts about this, but I would recommend removal.)

Tip the chopped apples into a large pan along with the spices, orange peel and bay leaves, reserving 2 star anise, 4 cloves and 2 bay leaves* for the jars. Cover with 600 ml water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer with a lid on for 1 1⁄2 hours. Check now and again that the fruit is not catching on the bottom of the pan. If it is, loosen it and reduce the heat slightly. Don't let the fruit burn.

Allow the pan to cool a little, then pour the contents into a jelly bag or a sieve lined with muslin, suspended over a large bowl. Leave to drip for 2 - 3 hours (until it stops dripping) or overnight. For those new to jelly making, don't squeeze the bag or try to push the liquid though the sieve, otherwise the jelly will become cloudy.

Discard the contents of the sieve / bag, and measure the juice in the bowl – you should have just under 600ml. Pour the liquid back into your cleaned pan, along with the jam sugar and vinegar.

Set the pan on a low heat to dissolve the sugar, stirring constantly. Once dissolved, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for 15 minutes, or until the setting point is reached**, using a metal spoon to skim away any scum that rises to the surface.

**There are several methods for finding whether the setting point has been reached, but I use the following one. Put a small saucer in the freezer (not your best china) for 5 to 10 minutes to get it really cold. When you think the setting point is approaching, take the saucer out, take your pan off the heat, and put a teaspoon of the jelly on the saucer. Return the saucer to the freezer for a couple of minutes (to cool, not freeze), take it out again and tip it slightly. If the jelly runs easily down the saucer and its surface doesn't crinkle up when pushed with a spoon, the setting point hasn't been reached. Return the saucer to the freezer and the pan to the heat, and try again in a few minutes. Setting point has been reached when the jelly is reluctant to run, and the surface crinkles up when pushed.

Pour the jelly into hot sterilised jars (a hot dishwasher cycle followed by 15 minutes in an oven at 160 c will do it), and place a star anise, a bay leaf and 2 cloves into each jar. Seal well, then chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours, or overnight until set.

The jelly will keep unopened in a cool dry place for about a year, and for a month in the refrigerator after opening.

Re: Spiced Apple Jelly

Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:10 pm
by Westi
Thanks judyk!

Not only am I going to love making this, I can smell it already, but I imagine it will call for a trip to Lakeland as well! Perfect!

Re: Spiced Apple Jelly

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:41 am
by Kayburton
Thanks, great recipe. My wife was interested. Let's try to cook.

Re: Spiced Apple Jelly

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:36 pm
by Westi
I'm not progressing. Went to local Lakeland & out of stock of jelly bags & holders. Mind I really did need the new ironing board cover though! They assure me new stock due in! I could obviously buy on line but then might miss the cover & the new garlic press! OK maybe online would be cheaper though! ;) Plan was to spend my Xmas vouchers at the garden centre Lakeland rent from, but the bus in the car park told me no way as did the queue out front. I promise I bought nothing from the clothing store or the aquatic centre though - but if I had a pond????