Apple Jelly (Vegan)



Rains tend to get boring if continuous for days. A recent spell of incessant rains lasted for three days, dowsing the spirits and leaving everything gray and dull. However, rain drunk grass and trees look vibrant and verdant.  A new variety of Lily blossomed in our garden, adding some colour to the monotones of green. We waited really long for the humongous bud to open up and unfold the flower within.


This is Agapanthus, also known as the Lily of the Nile or the African Lily.

Yesterday morning was bright and sunny and the azure sky looked unbelievable and strange.  For, a    cloudless sky and bright Sun during monsoons is a harbinger of heavy downpour later in the day.
Momentary though, it was a magical morning. 


The Himalayas were partially visible and partially covered by the cottony clouds.

After many days, we walked up to our apple orchard. The trees were bare. Apple season is over. Ripe apples were packed and sent to family and friends. However, we discovered some apples still there on the rugged branches of the tree. Perhaps these were out of reach while plucking or were too small in size and left for purposely for the birds. But the apples were intact and it seemed that the birds were enjoying the ripe pears more and were not interested in the apples.


We cannot be wasteful and decided to pluck the remaining apples.  Our little one climbed on to the slender branches dexterously and shook the branches. Apples rained and rolled on the dew-laden grass. We collected them all and decided to make Apple Jelly.


To make Apple jelly, you need not have the best and sweetest variety of apples. In fact, I use all the leftover apples- ripe and unripe, tart and small size.


It is very important to cook jelly until it sets well. Keep stirring continuously  during the last stages of cooking to avoid scorching at the bottom.


A dollop of  jelly on a warm toast slathered with butter is just divine.
We enjoyed Apple jelly with homemade wholegrain bread and homemade Peanut Butter.


Apple Jelly

Ingredients
  • 7-8 medium-size apples
  • water
  • Sugar
  • Lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Wash and wipe the apples dry.
  2. Cut into small pieces including core and seeds.
  3. Transfer to a pressure cooker. Add water just enough to cover the fruit.
  4. Cook for one whistle, or turn off the heat when the whistle is about to come.
  5. Open the lid and let it cool.
  6. Double line a mesh colander or a soup strainer with a muslin cloth.  Set it over a deep bowl to collect the juice.
  7. Ladle the apples and the juice into the lined colander or strainer. Keep it on the counter undisturbed for about three to four hours. Do not press down on apples with a ladle or squeeze to get more liquid. This will cloud the jelly.  
  8. Measure the liquid. For every one cup of liquid, add ¾ cup of sugar and 1 ½ teaspoon of lemon juice (strained).
  9. Pour it into a thick bottom steel wok or wide-mouthed deep pan and bring to a boil. During cooking, skim off the scum that collects on the surface.
  10. Keep the plate in the freezer.
  11. Cook on medium heat stirring in between till jelly begins to thicken and coats the ladle thickly.  To test if it is done, dab some jelly into the chilled plate. Keep it back in the freezer for a few minutes. Nudge it with your finger, If it wrinkles and collects, it is done. Else, continue to cook and re-test at intervals.
  12. When the jelly sets, remove from the heat and ladle in the clean jars.

 





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