Making jelly is so simple! For most jams and jellies, I follow the instructions that come in the Sure Jell package. I’ll share some pictures here of my last crab apple jelly making because sometimes just seeing someone else do it gives us the confidence to try it on our own.
Mostly I use regular Sure Jell in the yellow box.
For the crab apple jelly I was making, the paper said I needed 7 cups of crab apple juice and 9 cups of sugar.
I washed enough crab apples to almost fill up my big pot and then I filled it with water. I deviate a bit there from what the instructions say but I find that following their instructions doesn’t give me 7 full cups of juice.
Simmer the crab apples. Some say you shouldn’t crush the crab apples as that will give you a cloudy jelly but I crush mine and find my jelly to be plenty clear.
Once the apples have simmered til I think all the juice has been released, I kinda crush them with a potato masher. BTW, crab apples are one of the fruits that has enough pectin that you can make jelly without using Sure Jell but I still use it.
I set up my chinois into which I’ll dump the fruit and strain it out.
Once the juice has been strained out from the chunks, the juice is strained. You can use cheese cloth or a jelly bag or you can buy a pair of cheap panty hose, cut each leg into three sections, tie knots in one end and stretch one piece over a large cup. (By cutting each leg into 3 sections, you’re getting enough pieces to make 6 batches of jelly.)
Strain out the pulp.
In a separate bowl, measure out the amount of sugar you will need — 9 cups for me. Set it aside but have it ready to dump when ready. Timing is crucial.
Pour the juice into a pot and add the Sure Gel. Stir or whisk til the Sure Jell is dissolved. A tiny bit (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) butter can be added to help reduce foam. Bring to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring.
Add the sugar, continue stirring. Once it begins to boil hard, let it continue to boil for 1 minute, continuing to stir.
That’s it! Add it to jars and process it. The jars should be sterilized and hot before the hot liquid is added. Leave 1/2″ or whatever is recommended from the top. This is the “head space”. Wipe the tops of the jars well, add the flat part of the two part sealing unit. Then add the rings and tighten.
It’s processed in a water bath which means the jars are submerged upright in a pot with boiling water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let them boil for whatever time is recommended. It took 5 minutes for the crab apple. Any pot that is deep enough to cover your jars by 2 inches will work.
You can do it!!