Apple Ginger Jelly

This small batch of apple ginger jelly is delicious in a PB&J and would be even better served with fresh ricotta and crostini.

I bought these cute little lady apples back in January, thinking I would make a clever pickle or a preserve them in a cinnamon-spiked syrup. I tucked them into my produce drawer and the days went by.

As I started thinking about this month’s challenge, those apples leapt to mind and I knew that their destiny lay elsewhere. Along with a couple other apples, they were meant to become jelly. Apple ginger jelly, to be precise.

I love using apples to make jelly because while they make a respectable preserve all on their own, they have a neutral enough flavor that they can take on a wide array of other flavors as well. I combined my apples with fresh ginger, but you could go with a fresh herb or a trio of warm winter spices.

The process of making jelly from apples is easy enough. Cut them into halves or quarters. Cover them with water (start with about a cup more water than you need for your finished recipe). Add your flavor enhancers if you’re using something that appreciates a longer infusion. And simmer until the fruit is very soft.

Once the fruit is soft, it’s time to strain. I line old china cap and stand that I inherited from my great-aunt Flora with a nut milk bag (sturdier than a jelly bag), but you can also use a traditional jelly bag stand, or even a colander lined with cheesecloth that you perch on top of a tall bowl.

Best practice is to give your fruit at least 6-8 hours to drain so that you don’t introduce any pulp into the juice that could make your jelly cloudy. However, if you don’t really care about having a batch of a slightly opaque jelly, go ahead and squeeze. I got an additional half cup of juice from my fruit thanks to some vigorous squeezing.

Once you’ve got all the juice extracted from your apples, it’s time to make the jelly. Bring the juice to a boil. As it heats, whisk the sugar and pectin together. Once the juice boils, whisk in the the pectin-spiked sugar and stir. Add some fresh lemon juice for balance. And start checking for set.

Once you get some nice, thick sheeting on the back of your spoon or the jelly passes the plate test, it is done. Pour it into jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace (the thinner the product, the less headspace you need).

The finished flavor of this jelly is bright from the apples and just a little bit spicy from the ginger. I ate the last couple teaspoons that wouldn’t fit into the jars on peanut butter toast and felt very much like all was right with the world. I could also see it tasting very good spread thinly inside a grilled cheese sandwich.

For those of you who made jelly for this month’s challenge, how has it gone for you? Any favorites to share?

Apple Ginger Jelly

Yield: 4 half pints

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds apples, roughly chopped
  • 3 ounces fresh ginger, chopped
  • 5 cups water
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoon powdered pectin
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Instructions

  1. Combine the chopped apples and ginger in a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add water, cover and bring to a boil. Once the pot boils, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 40-45 minutes. Once apples are very soft, remove the pot from the heat and let the apples cool a little.
  2. Strain the juice from the pulp, until you have approximately 3 1/2 or 4 cups.
  3. Prepare a boiling water bath canner and four half pint jars.
  4. Pour the juice into non-reactive pot and bring to a boil. Whisk the pectin into the sugar and whisk into the boiling jelly. Add the lemon juice and stir.
  5. Continue to boil until the jelly sheets thickly off your spoon and/or passes the plate test. This can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.
  6. Once the jelly shows signs that it will set, remove the pot from the stove.
  7. Pour the jelly into the prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
  8. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
  9. When the time is up, remove the jars and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. When the jars have cooled enough that you can comfortably handle them, check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.
http://foodinjars.com/2017/03/apple-ginger-jelly/

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8 Responses to Apple Ginger Jelly

  1. 1
    Julie says:

    Kind of a two-part question. For bottled lemon juice, should we consider one lemon to be 1/4 cup? Or, if using Meyer lemons, would I need to increase the amount of juice to make up for reduced acidity?

    • 1.1
      Marisa says:

      The lemon juice in this recipe isn’t for safety. It’s simply there to balance the sweetness. So use as much or as little as you need to effect that balance.

  2. 2
    KathyD says:

    I’m not a big jelly fan, but might need to try this one. Looks great!

  3. 3
    ColleenB.~Texas says:

    Have a ?
    Can a person use powdered ginger in place of the fresh? If so, then how much of the powdered should a person use. Thank U

    • 3.1
      Marisa says:

      I’m sure you could, but I’m uncertain how to advise you. It would be a process of trial and error.

  4. 4
    Danita Day says:

    Hi Marissa,
    I’m boiling my apples and ginger now. I just realized I don’t have regular powdered pectin on hand. I have Pomona and Ball low sugar variety. I would like to use the Pomona but I’m not sure what adjustments to make. Also I peeled the ginger but is that necessary?

    • 4.1
      Danita Day says:

      Never mind my pectin question. I bought regular powdered pectin and followed the recipe as written. I know you go to a lot of trouble testing recipes and I’m not comfortable enough yet to attempt alterations. This jelly is so pretty. Smells and taste wonderful. -thanks

  5. 5
    Devorah Kahn says:

    Made this today with apples that I juiced last Fall and processed. I prefer low sugar and have pushed the envelope to a true minimum. I followed the recipe except only used 1/2 cup of sugar to 8 cups of juice, and Pomona’s pectin. A friend taught me to freeze ginger and then to grate it on a microplane, which I also did.The jelly is beautiful and tastes incredible, gingery, and delicious. More sugar would’ve made it much too sweet for my liking. Thanks for the recipe!

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