Apples are truly versatile fruits. You can use them in desserts such as apple pies and caramel apples, you can also blend them and use the juice and pulp as tenderizers for meat dishes.
Did you know that it’s great to use Apples for jellies? It’s because Apples contain 85% water and their juices are known to support hydration and help brain growth and function. Apple jellies are one of the most common ways to preserve apples during their harvesting season. It’s great to naturally extract their juices and pulps for jellies and jams.
Apple Jelly Trivia
- It’s best to refrigerate apples since they ripen about six times faster if kept at room temperature.
- The Red Delicious apple variety is the most commonly grown in the US. However, the Goldrush Apple became the State Fruit of several states including Illinois, West Virginia, New York, Vermont, and Minnesota.
- The oldest Apple tree in the United States was planted in Vancouver, Washington. It was considered to be the Apple matriarch of the old Pacific Northwest and was the mother of their apple industry.
Apple Jelly Buying Guide
It’s easy to spot Apple jellies, as they can be found in the condiments, jams, and jellies section of any supermarket, groceries, and even convenience store. Several food processing companies have their distinct flavors combinations in making apple jellies. Others like it a bit tart and sour and some add cinnamon for more flavor and aroma.
In buying apple jellies, look at how natural the color of the jelly is. It should resemble the natural look of apple juice but without the impurities since commercial companies would like their products to be perfectly presented.
Despite these, there are several non-commercial producers including your local, artisan producers, and small and medium enterprises that produce apple jellies in small batches to maintain quality. These micro and medium businesses take pride in using the freshest ingredients, using the traditional methods, and often eliminating food additives and chemicals to preserve their crafts.
There are also organic food fairs, farmer’s markets, and food festivals connecting artisan producers and customers, so be sure to visit any of these venues.
Apple Jelly Production & Farming in Texas
Apple jelly is available from commercial manufacturers and artisan producers. Apple season in Texas spans from July to October so those are also the best times to buy some apple jellies or make your apple jellies for personal consumptions or as edible gifts.
Preservatives and Chemicals
Pectin is the most common ingredient for jellies, jams, and preserves. Without pectin, jams and jellies won’t have a gel-like consistency. It is such an essential ingredient to achieve that gelatinous texture. However, pectin can be a dangerous ingredient for those suffering from food allergies. Most people with nut allergies also have pectin allergies. When consumed, pectin can trigger asthma and hives, severe allergic reactions can even lead to anaphylaxis. So do inform your consumers about this potentially harmful component.
Home-made apple jelly should be stored in sterilized glass jars. This is essential because glass jars are the best way to preserve their quality and lengthen their shelf-life. Glass jars are also easier to clean and you can re-use them in some other ways after finishing the apple jelly.
When using glass jars, always check if there are cracks or chipped edges. If you can find any or both of these anomalies, then immediately discard the glass jars. Don’t even think of salvaging them for another use. Remember that food safety and consumer health are vital in food production. Only use clean jars in good condition in the making of apple jelly.
Some apple jellies are packaged in plastic cups or shots. While that may be an easier option, since you can just discard the packaging after consuming all the apple jellies, we don’t recommend it since single-use plastic pollutes the environment. Apple jellies packaged using plastic also tend to have a chemical aroma and taste from the plastic packaging. That’s too unpleasant for the deliciously aromatic and naturally sweet apple jellies.
Enjoying Apple Jelly
Apple jelly can be eaten in various ways. One of the simplest ways to eat apple jelly is to spread it on buttered and toasted bread with cream cheese. You can also add apple jelly as a jam or dipping accompaniment in your charcuterie or cheese board. Apple jelly also goes well with pork roast. The sweet, caramel flavors of the apple cut the fatty, richness of the pork.
You can also use apple jellies in different desserts. Prepare your typical breakfast food such as pancakes, waffles, and crepes, add some apple jellies, and candied bacon for a hearty meal. Prepare vanilla ice cream, toast some nuts and dried apples, the mix some apple jelly for more intense flavors.
Store apple jellies the way you would store other preserves such as jams and jellies. If you have purchased commercially produced apple jellies, then the unopened cans can be stored at a cool, dry place away from the direct heat of the sun.
Whether you have commercially produced or home-made apple jellies, opened cans should always be refrigerated. Just remember to keep them away from direct sunlight when using them as heat will change the color and flavor of the apple jellies.
Follow the traditional ways of making Apple Jelly.
3 ½ pounds apples, cored and diced
3 cups water
7 ½ cups white sugar
½ teaspoon butter (Optional)
1 (2 ounce) package powdered fruit pectin
- Place apples in a large pot; cover with water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until apples are slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Crush cooked apples and simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Transfer crushed apples to a sieve or cheesecloth. Let drip into a bowl until all liquid has drained, pressing gently to release all the juice. Measure 5 cups apple juice, adding water if necessary to have exact amount. Stir sugar into juice; add butter to reduce foaming.
- Bring juice mixture to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin; boil for exactly 1 minute to dissolve pectin, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off excess foam with a metal spoon.
- Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Ladle apple jam into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/8 inch of the top. Run a knife or a thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids, and screw on rings.
- Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil and lower jars into the boiling water using a holder. Leave a 2-inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary to bring the water level to at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a rolling boil, cover the pot, and process for 5 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Store in a cool, dark area. Refrigerate opened jellies for up to 3 weeks.