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.
- 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
- Whisk together sugar and powder pectin.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove from water bath and let cool on a folded towel for 12-24 hours.