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As a mid-Atlantic transplant, cold Maryland winters signify harsh bicycle riding conditions, fuzzy coats and boots, and hot spiked beverages… hot toddies, hot spiked cider, hot mulled wine… must I say more? A fond memory of my first winter in Baltimore was when a good friend would come over on Sunday mornings with a canteen full of hot spiked liquid to snuggle and reminiscence over our weekend mishaps and relationship woes. I remember justifying our Sunday tradition as a cure for the lingering headaches from the previous evening.

Perhaps because I started this new jelly making hobby in the winter, or because I don’t have the luxury of access to summertime fruits, I find myself drawn to hot beverage inspired creations. I have also been playing around with the idea of a rye and cinnamon jelly (stay tuned). This mulled cider jelly not only fulfills my warm winter beverage tendencies, but it was quite easy and a somewhat foolproof recipe. This jelly recipe is straight out of the Food in Jars cookbook. For those of you who don’t have a copy of Marisa’s book, I have included the recipe below.

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Mulled Cider Jelly

Yield: 4 half pints

Ingredients

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 package powdered pectin
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Whisk together sugar and powder pectin.
  2. In a large-sized, non-reactive pot, combine cider and pectin/sugar mixture. Add spices and orange zest. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat for 15-25 minutes (mine took ~15 minutes), stirring regularly until jelly has reduced in volume and consistency has thickened. At this point the bubbles should look shinny and syrupy.
  3. Test the jelly set using the saucer test: freeze saucer for 15 minutes, drop 1tsp of jelly on saucer then put in fridge for 1 minute, nudge the edge of jelly drop, should wrinkle if set.
  4. Pour jelly into prepared (hot and sterilized) jars, wipe rims, apply lids and rings (finger tight), then process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from water bath and let cool on a folded towel for 12-24 hours.

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