Instead of spending the holiday weekend shopping, why not spend an afternoon making pretty jars of delicious Caramel Apple Jelly for the loved ones on your gift list? Caramel Apple Jelly takes a bit of time to prepare, but the steps are easy to follow and your kitchen will smell wonderful. As an added bonus, Caramel Apple Jelly is a very economical recipe! Pick up a few bags of apples to make applesauce or a festive German dinner, and save the cores for this recipe. You can always cut the recipe in half, to make 4 jars instead of 8.
Ingredients (makes 8 half-pints)
30 apple cores
3 cups sugar
3 cups brown sugar
6 tablespoons powdered pectin
2 tablespoons loose caramel-flavored tea
Step 1) Place apple cores and tea in a stockpot and just barely cover with water.
Step 2) Bring stockpot to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
Step 3) Place a strainer in a slightly smaller bowl and line with a tightly woven, clean towel (or several layers of cheesecloth) as shown. It is important that there is room in the lower bowl, below the bottom of the strainer, for juice to collect!
Step 4) Carefully transfer the apple cores and juice into the towel-lined strainer. Be careful to avoid overflow… you may need to ladle a few cups of juice out of the lower bowl and into a second bowl (for temporary storage) right away. Be patient, and allow an hour or so for all of the apple juice to collect in the bottom bowl.
Step 5) Combine sugars and pectin. Set aside.
Step 6) Measure 5 cups of apple juice, and bring to a rolling boil in your stockpot.
Step 7) Add sugar mixture to stockpot and, with constant stirring, return to a rolling boil. This may take a few minutes. After a rolling boil has been maintained for one, solid minute, remove caramel apple jelly from heat.
Step 8) Ladle caramel apple jelly into sterilized, half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe jar rims clean, and top with lids and bands. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Jars of homemade caramel apple jelly make wonderful gifts. Remember, making jelly is a fun and economical way to make use of fruit cores!