Accidentally Cooking

Documenting my mistakes in the garden, kitchen and pantry

Apple Cider Jelly

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In two previous posts I made a Clementine Jam and an Orange Jelly, both inspired by recipes from my new book. In both cases I made some adaptations to the original recipes, including the addition of some powdered pectin.

This time I decided to follow a recipe from the book as closely as I could without decreasing the sugar or increasing the pectin or doing anything besides making minor adjustments. Christine Ferber’s original recipe, titled “Cider Jelly with Vanilla” required the use of vanilla beans, which I did not have so I substituted with a very light splash of vanilla extract. The remainder of the recipe was followed as faithfully as I could manage.

Cider Jelly with Cinnamon

  • 1 3/4 lbs granny smith apples
  • water
  • 5 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 1/4 cups apple cider [1]
  • Juice of one lemon

Rinse the apples, quarter them. Stick them in a pot with 3 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain.  Refrigerate the juice overnight.

In a large [2] pot, mix a heavy 2 cups [3] of the apple juice from the first day, the cider, the sugar and the lemon juice. Bring to a boil and continue boiling, stirring, for 10-15 minutes. Check that the jelly has set up enough. Immediately put into warm sterilized jars and process [4].


Because it uses the full sugar content and has no powdered pectin, the jelly is extremely rich and not as thick as I normally like. The jelly was thicker than I expected it to get from this setup, just not as thick as I normally make with the boxed pectin powder. Now I have a much better baseline for understanding her recipes going forward.


I started with a good quality cider (it was actually the store band, but was so much better than I would have expected).  The vanilla flavor is subtle and is a great accompaniment to the cider flavor.


  1. Her original recipe being metric, the real equivalent quantity is 3 cups, 2 oz of the cider. A light 3 1/4 should be fine. Somewhere, the engineer in me is preparing a treatise on significant digits.
  2. I initially used a pot that was way too small, and it boiled over. I said some curse words, had to stop and clean off the stove, burnt the crap off my finger, and eventually got a bigger pot. Don’t be like me, kids.
  3. Again, the real value was “2 cups, 1 oz.” Just eyeball it. What’s the worst that could happen?
  4. I processed for 15 minutes.

Author: Andrew Whitworth

I'm a software engineer from Philadelphia PA. Sometimes I like to go out to my garden, or step into my kitchen and make a really big mess of things.

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