I’ve been wanting to make a sugar-free/pectin-free and after a quick Google search, I thought I’d try this recipe. Because I love experimenting with food and recipes, I made some tweaks to it. Here’s what I did.
1. I boiled 4 quarts of crab apples for about twenty minutes. Next time I’ll add cinnamon sticks to it to make my house smell even more amazing than it did.
2. After boiling, I put some apple into a sifter and began pressing them with a spoon to squeeze out the lovely pulp.
3. As I pressed the apples, the pulp and applesauce mixed with each other in the bowl, so then I put over top of a pot, taped the sides so it wouldn’t move, and dumped the applesauce into it. I stirred the applesauce slowly and the pulp start to drip into the pot. The cheese cloth prevented any applesauce from getting through.
4. Once I pressed all the applesauce and all my pulp was in the pot, I added ¼ cup lemon juice, 1 cup organic apple juice, ½ cup water, 1 ⅓ cups raw, farmer’s market honey. Turn it on to medium heat to boil. If you turn it on high, it will boil over and you not only lose a ton of jam, it is VERY difficult to clean afterwards.
6. I boiled it for the recommended amount of time, dumped it into the mason jars, then sealed it by boiling it in a pot of boiling water. My jelly did NOT set. It was a beautiful clear liquid that when mixed with sparkling water tasted like pop, but it was not spreadable at all.
7. The next day I decided to try again. This is where I changed things a bit. I poured all the jelly back into a pot and boiled it on medium heat for about a half an hour! Once it started to look like it was frothing, I took it off and watched as it thickened before my eyes. I poured it into mason jars and it set beautifully! It’s quite a bit thicker than I expected, but definitely spreadable and better than liquid!
This week I am pickling carrots and beans! Next month I’m attending a fermenting class and hope to ferment foods all winter long!