Well, I finally got around to trying to make apple jelly using the apple juice I had made earlier. Our apples in Mississippi are already ripe (must be the drought weather!) and we harvested our apple tree and a lady's from our church. We ended up with a nice blend of about 4 different types of apples. We just moved here 4 months ago, so I'm not sure the type of apple we have ;)
After I peeled and cored the apples to make applesauce and apple butter, I put the peelings/cores in a stockpot with water and simmered them for hours. At one point, I also put them in the crockpot and left them on low overnight. Then, I strained the juice lightly (I didn't want it entirely clear. I like the bits of apple in it) Now it was ready for jelly making!
(I did find out later that I could have simmered it a little longer to pasteurize the juice and can it. I will do this next time! We go through A LOT of apple juice in our house!)
Now, to the jelly making! This is my first attempt at jelly making. I did a large amount of reading to prepare. My first batch, I switched the order of ingredients. (Did you know there's a difference in ingredient order depending on whether you use powder or liquid pectin!?!) Needless to say, my jelly did not set. I read that you could boil it down to get to the gel point and then re-can the jelly. So, a few days later, I boiled it for about an hour and never got to the gel point :(
I tasted it and it tasted fine, so I decided this would be used as an apple syrup instead. We could put it on waffles or pancakes! I put one quart in the fridge and canned one pint labeling it apple syrup ;)
At this point, I was ready to try it again. So, today I made 7 batches of apple jelly using different pectins. I tried powdered pectin, liquid pectin, and low/no sugar added pectin to which I used honey. I also added rosemary to 3 quarts of the liquid pectin quarts. I'll use this to put on pork or chicken later. It smelled soooo good!!!
Out of the 7 batches, I made 1 quart and 1 pint apple syrup, 3 quarts rosemary apple jelly, 1 quart honey apple jelly, 5 quarts apple jelly, and 2 pints apple jelly. I remember reading once not to use quarts when making jelly, but I couldn't find online a reason and I know you can buy that size of it in the store. I also didn't have anything other than quart jars left :) So, I decided it was worth it to me to do the quarts regardless. If they don't set, we can still use them in cooking or on waffles/pancakes!
We'll see if they set in the next week or so. This was a first for me, so I learned something and got to add to our pantry :)