my october symphony
October is the cruelest month; I always get one year older and I have too many (cooking / new season / career / home deco / parenting / gym) plans & resolutions that I never seem to follow up. Of course, it is different once you commit in public.
So, here is my October 2014 pledge
Cook all the apples & the pits & the peels! Follow Kate's example. She religiously used every single apple she got from her CSA harvest and shared the food. Good for her!
‘Here's the method I used - it's a bit rough since I didn't follow a recipe exactly…
After peeling all the apples and removing the flesh for various other uses (applesauce, apple jam, etc), I was left with an enormous pile of peels and apple cores - I couldn't bear to just throw them in the trash. So I did a little research and made up my mind to make some apple jelly!
Place all the skins and cores of the apples (stem and calyx removed) into a large pot with enough water to barely submerge the peels. Note that skins and cores from hardier, thick-skinned apples will have more pectin and make a better stock. Let simmer for about 30 minutes without stirring, then strain the resulting pectin stock through a double layer of cheesecloth without squeezing the softened peels (so as not to cloud the stock).
For every 4 cups of pectin stock, measure 3 cups of sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Combine in a pan that's large enough to give a good amount of surface area so the jelly can cook quickly. You can warm the sugar on a cookie sheet in a 225-degree oven for 15 minutes before adding to the boiling pectin stock and lemon juice, but I didn't bother.
Reduce the boiling ingredients over high heat to the gel point, which takes about 8 minutes. You can determine that a gel set has been reached when a drop of the hot jelly will bead up on a cold saucer, or a teaspoon will form a skin when placed on a cold dish and chilled in the freezer for a minute. Ladle the hot jelly into jars and, if you want them to be shelf stable, follow a standard canning process. Since I wasn't making huge batches and planned to give away most of the jelly (and assumed it would be consumed quickly!), I simply ladled it into jars and let it cool. If unprocessed, jelly should be stored in the fridge.
You can get really creative with apple jelly since it's a very neutral jelly. I made several small batches so I could experiment with different flavours. I added rounds of fresh ginger to one batch, a cinnamon stick to another, and even stirred in a teaspoon of hot pepper flakes to the final batch to make a delicious spicy hot pepper jelly. You could try adding Calvados, red or white wine, herbs like thyme or bay, or make a classic mint jelly by adding fresh mint.’
Thank you Kate!