There is great joy that comes from using as much of a product as you can. This is why I love Apple Scrap Jelly! It starts with a bajillion pounds of apples that are peeled and cored. The apples are then processed into sauce, or pie filling, or whatever else you can think of, then the scraps are frozen until such a time that you can fit in even more canning! Well – that is what I did, anyway!
Our freezer was grossly overflowing (you have been following the “Eating from the Freezer” series, right? You can catch up here, here and here) so I had to finally finish up my canning. Taking up the most space was the bags and bags and bags of apple scraps from this past September. I knew it could be done, but I had never tried it, and really – what did I have to lose? Nothing! Here is what I did.
First, you have to get juice out of the apple scraps. Put them in a big old pot and cover with water – I put about an inch or so above the fruit line. And, bring to a boil. Once you boil it, you want to simmer for about 30 minutes. Then, turn it off, put a lid on it and leave it overnight. The next day, you want to repeat the process. Make sure there is plenty of water in the pot, bring to a boil, simmer for 30 minutes. Now strain it. I found it helpful to “mash” the mixture through a colander. Now take the leftovers from the colander and feed them to the chickens. Or, compost it. Ok, now let’s make the jelly!
I start by putting my clean jars in a 250 degree oven, and get my lids in a water filled saucepan on the stove. Then I go outside and light up the canner to get it up to temperature.
You will want to measure out how much liquid you have – 4 cups is a standard batch, or you can double it to 8 cups. I would not recommend going greater than this in a given batch – it just becomes too much to deal with at one time. Ok, to that 4 cups of juice, you will want to add ONE package of pectin. NOTE: If you are wanting a lower sugar version of this jelly, be sure you get a low or no sugar pectin!
Once the pectin is added, bring the mixture up to a boil and let it boil for a couple minutes. After it has boiled a bit, then add 3 cups of sugar. I know it seems like a lot, but there you have it – you can always add lemon juice if that is too sweet. I like mine on the tart side anyway, so I do add the lemon.
Now you need to let that boil around for a bit – start with 5 minutes, then do a jell test. The easiest way I have found to do this is to keep a spoon in a cup of ice water, and when ready, swirl around in your jelly mix, then step away from the heat (over the sink). Blow on the spoon a bit, then tip it to see what happens – if the liquid dribbles, you need more time. If it starts to “sheet” off the spoon then you are good. If it dribbles, let the mix boil for another 5 minutes and test again. If after this it still dribbles, try adding a half pack of pectin and start the process again. Apples naturally have a decent amount of pectin in them, but there are a lot of different things that can affect this, so be prepared to add more.
So now your jelly mixture is ready to go. Carefully remove the jars from the oven and transfer them to the counter. Grab your funnel and get to work filling the jars. I leave a 1″ head space in the jar – this makes it easier to wipe the rims of the jar without accidentally searing my skin with hot jam! Once the jars are filled, grab a clean, wet rag and wipe the rims. At this point if there are any nicks in the jars or if you see any other problem with the jar you will want to disregard it and put the contents in a new jar. It is not worth risking food safety! Go ahead and put the lids on, and screw down the rings. Place in your basket, then into the canner for 15 minutes. If your water has a lot of minerals, add about a cup of vinegar to the canner water – this will prevent the white film from collecting on the jars.
Once they are done processing, remove and place on a towel on your counter. Let them cool completely – check for seal. If one hasn’t sealed, just place it in your fridge to use right away or go ahead and process again after wiping the rim again and replacing the lid.
That’s it! Easy peasy and so good! If you have any questions, fire away, or if you are a canner and have any helpful tips to add, fell free 🙂