24 September 2013

Gelée de pommes

These last few days, apples have nearly taken over our lives again. I say "again" because only last year, 2012, out of the 11 summers we've spent here, didn't find us out raking up tons of fallen apples several times during the season, preparing for lawn mowing. There were no apples to speak of on the trees last year because a mid-April freeze killed the blossoms.

We — Walt especially — spent a few hours Sunday and again yesterday raking up and piling apples in a wheelbarrow. Walt  hauled many loads of them to the compost pile. I threw a lot of apples over the fence into the wooded land that bounds our property on the north side.

Also, I gathered a big bucket load of the best looking apples and brought them into the house. Jelly was on my mind. I washed all the apples and cut them into chunks, excising any rotten spots. Into a big pot the chunks went — skins, cores, seeds and all. That's where a lot of the pectin is.

After an hour or two of boiling, the apples had rendered all their juice. A first straining through a colander caught the seeds and skins. Then a second straining through a cloth removed all the pulp — applesauce, basically. Let it drip for a while to collect all the clear juice. The remaining liquid was pretty tart. Maybe that's because I squeezed the juice of a lemon into it, for extra flavor.

The proportions for making jelly out of apple juice are 900 grams of sugar for every liter (1000 grams) of liquid. I had nearly five liters of juice. Mix in the sugar and bring the jelly-to-be to a boil. Skim off the foam that rises to the top, for clarity.

Meanwhile, sterilize a lot of jars. Spoon the boiling jelly into a sterile jar, screw on a sterilized lid — use a towel so you don't burn yourself — and turn the jar upside-down on another towel to cool. Cover the jars with a towel as they cool to keep drafts away. We got 19 jars. That should last for a few years.


  1. Lovely !!
    And now I know how to do it !!
    If the lady at the farm leaves her windfall apples in a wheelbarrow by the gate with the "help yourself" notice this year, I will have a go at this.

  2. We too have tons of apples. My (British) preserving book gives a pound of sugar to an imperial pint of juice. Easy? I'm no good at remembering numbers! P.

  3. And next year, when you do another 19 jars, you'll have another several years worth :)

    Quite impressive, Ken :)

  4. Looking back thru my blog archives, I see that the last time I made apple jelly was in 2009! What would you all do with these tons of apples?

  5. Apple sauce (for freezing, without added sugar) to have in winter with boudin blanc and boudin noir or pork sausages. Yummy! I've read somewhere that you can also dry them, thinly sliced to have as snacks (don't have the recipe though). Put the nicest specimen in a wooden case near the main road with a sign 'help yourself' like Jean suggested. As for the rest ... just put them on the compost heap! :) Btw, That jelly of yours looks really succulent! Martine

  6. La couleur, en tout cas, est très belle.

  7. Well, you're set for a while! Those apples sure were put to good use.

    Apple sauce sans le sucre would be what most of that ton of apples would go for at my home. That's what my father did with the windfalls from his neighbor's yard - oh - minus the good ones that he cut up each day in his oatmeal!

    Since you guys make most of your jams and jellies, do you ask your neighbors and friends for their empty Bonne Maman jars and lids? Or do they have a recycling place where you can obtain them?

  8. We used to love to do our own canning. A novelty for me as an adult having never known anyone who did when I was growing up in the city. But, I've never done anything with apples. My mouth is watering at the pictures (and thought) of apple jelly.

  9. Tomorrow you can do the same thing with your grapes-ha ha! Your jelly looks so good! A friend of mine freezes apple crumble with her crop and gives them to friends and eats some too in the winter.


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?