With summer and its lush bounty behind us we welcome fall's straightforward flavors. The crispness and astringency of apples, pears and pomegranates seem just what our palates crave.
Wonderfully simple, this jelly’s clean flavors seem to perfectly complement autumns richer foods. A basic apple jelly is enhanced with cider vinegar and sage giving it a hard to define subtlety.
Because of apples' high pectin content this sets up beautifully, making it the perfect jelly for beginners.
I have for the first time included some step-by-step pictures. Readers, please let me know if you like this feature and I will incorporate into more pieces.
APPLE SAGE JELLY
YIELD: 4 1/2 pints
- 3.5 lbs lady apples (you can substitute any flavorful tart variety)
- 1 medium bunch sage
- 12 unblemished sage leafs
- Sugar (3/4 cup/cup of jelly stock)
- 2/3-cup apple cider vinegar
- Remove the blossom end from the apple (I use a melon baller) and coarsely chop them. Do not peel or core. Place the apples in a large preserving pan with the sage and cover with 8 cups water.
- Bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until the fruit is very soft. Stir once or twice but only to rotate the apples
- Cool slightly and pour into a moistened jelly bag or muslin set in a colander. Let drip without squeezing for 6 hours or overnight.
- Measure the strained juice into a clean preserving pan and add the vinegar. Bring to a boil and for every cup of apple stock add ¾ cups of sugar. Increase the heat and boil for 10- 15 minutes, skimming as needed. Cook until jelly is set. Watch carefully as the set can some on fast with apples.
- Place 2-3 sage leaves in each jar. Remove from heat and skim if needed. Ladle into hot sterilized jars. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Label and enjoy!
- This is a wonderful fall jelly to have on hand to serve with roast meats or poultry.
- Use as a glaze on apple or pear tarts.
- Apples in general and particularly crab and lady apples set up very fast so make sure you are ready to can, with your work station organized your jars and lids etc ready.
- Try substituting other herbs such as tarragon or mint for the sage.