Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Apple Jelly

Yesterday the wind was cold with threats of snow, but it brought down the last remaining apples on the trees, ones I couldn't reach before. Windfall apples are sometime perfect, but normally covered with russeting or scabs or bruises from hanging on the tree so long or from unfavorable growing conditions prior to falling. But they make excellent apple jelly.

Cut away blemishes but leave the seeds and cores. Quarter your fruit and put into a copper preseving kettle and add a little water, just to barely cover the fruit. Place on a slow fire and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Put all into chinois or jelly bag and allow to drain overnight.

To each cup of juice add one cup of freshly crushed fine sugar in the preserving kettle. Bring to a boil and cook until a small dab on a cold plate shows the correct set or it falls from the spoon in a curtain. Pour into pots and cover with a cloth until cold. Place a piece of paper cut to fit the inside of the pot which has been soaked in eau de vie on the jelly and tie a cloth or paper around the pot.

Apply jelly can be used in small amounts in cooking other fruits to help them set jelly. Aside from being great on bread as a snack use it to brush on bread slices in making fruit Charlottes and to deglaze the pan when cooking meat. Can also be used as a basting sauce on roasting meats to retain moisture.

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