Jam Up and Jelly Tight: Apple Jelly Is Out of Sight!

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jar of homemade apple jelly with chopped cranberries

Homemade apple jelly with chopped cranberries for one-two flavor punch.

It’s that time of year when I instinctively begin to ration my homemade preserves. It truly is summer captured in a jar. In the photo, I’m holding one of my favorite concoctions: apply jelly infused with rosemary and punctuated with dried cranberries.  Apple jelly is one of my unsung larder heroes, a jellied jewel of rich flavor.

To me store-bought apple jelly is a diluted impostor,  a bottled blob of sugary pectin with little flavor to speak of.  As a result, there is a true bias in the jam world. When I leave a jar of raspberry jam with a friend, eyes lights up. Should I share some peach preserves, the cooing ensues. But when I hand over my apple jelly, the reaction is similar to that of being offered a wrapped mackerel.  Of course, that reaction is fleeting and rarely repeated if recipients actually open the jar and taste it.  A healthy dollop on a warm biscuit has erased many a misconception on the worthiness of apple jelly.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Tom –

    Have you ever experimented with spicier jams and jellies… perhaps a spicy chutney? I’m partial to the sweet and hot – like a plum jalapeno perhaps. Just wondering – and – love that blog!

  2. Absolutely, I’m a huge fan of chutneys and usually make a spicy peach chutney, great with ham and chicken. I make a fall chutney with plums, pears, apples and quince that works just fine with a big old roast beef sandwich or block of cheddar. I’ll start including recipes shortly. -TC

  3. Tom,

    Just found your site and looking forward to ripe peaches. Would you share your apple jelly recipe?

    Many thanks

    Ann (warm and humid in Boston, almost like mid-August)

    • Hi Tammy, Jellies usually set up by the time it cools to room temperature. If it’s still liquid it didn’t reach the jellying point which is 220 degrees at sea level. Here’s a really good link with a good explanation and elevation adjustments for temperature: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_07/jelly_point.html
      I’m a sea level so it’s pretty easy for me to adhere to the 220 F rule.

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