1 I have always loved putting up jars of homemade jams, jellies, and preserves, especially when the fruit is my own. This year, I've had an abundance of apples and grapes.
2 These grapes were picked, and all the stems were removed. On this day, I used 21-pounds of delicious Concord grapes for the jelly.
3 The apples were rinsed in cold water, cored and stemmed, and then cut into quarters without peeling.
5 The recipe called for about three cups of water, but be sure to adjust to the amount of fruits used. I had a lot of fruit, so I had to make adjustments throughout.
6 And because of the amounts of fruit I had, I had several pots going at the same time.
7 Everything was brought to a boil and then allowed to simmer for about 30-minutes on low heat.
8 It cooks down pretty quickly during the 30-minutes time, and the sweet fragrance wafted through the kitchen and house - so wonderful.
9 Collect the juice by pouring it into a fine chinois sieve or a bag like this one. This is my favorite jelly bag I purchased in England.
10 This part of the process takes bit of time. You can press lightly on the fruit with the back of a skimmer, but mostly just allow it to drip through into a large saucepan.
11 I had a lot of mixture to drain, so it took a bit of time.
12 The color of the juice was a rich burgundy - so beautiful.
13 And this was the fruit flesh in the jelly bag. I poured it into a cheesecloth that was soaked and wrung out, and then drained it a second time into a large bowl.
14 Here was the finished apple-grape juice.
15 i poured all the juice into these quart containers. 21 pounds of beautiful grapes made 12 quarts of delicious juice. The juice was then refrigerated for a few days until I continued making the jelly.
16 To make the jelly, I poured the juice back into a large pan and added the sugar and lemon, adjusting the amount for the large portion of fruits I cooked. The mixture was brought to a simmer.
17 It was allowed to cook on high heat for at least 10-minutes or until it began to set.
18 Meanwhile, I prepared my jars. They were heated, not boiling, until they were ready to use. Keeping the jars hot prevents them from breaking when hot jelly is poured into them. The lids and bands were kept at room temperature.
19 When the jelly was ready, I removed the jars from the hot water.
20 Ever since I could remember, I have always been very exact whenever I estimate how many jars I need for a particular project. I estimated this batch to fill 24-glass jars. At the end, we will see how many I actually filled. I pulled 26-jars to be safe.
21 As the jelly mixture cooked, I periodically skimmed the bubbles from the top.
22 Not many bubbles, and the juice began to set.
23 Once it was done, using a ladle, I poured the jelly into the jars immediately.
24 Using a wide-mouth funnel was also helpful.
25 I developed this wonderful square-shaped ladle for one of my previous collections at Macy's. I love it because it makes pouring so much easier and more tidy.
26 I love how the juice pours out from the corners of this ladle.
27 Here is the final color of the jelly before I poured it into the jars.
28 Look at the beautiful, rich color inside the glass containers.
29 Continue to fill the jars until they are full.
30 Wipe off any drips from the side of the jars.
31 Center the lid on the jar, allowing the sealing compound to contact the jar rim.
32 Remember to press down on the top when sealing the jars - the center should push down.
33 And with a finger still in place on top of lid, I gently screwed the rim onto the jar. Always do this with new lids.
34 And, wipe the jar one more time to remove any drips.
35 And guess what? 24-glass jars were filled.
36 ... I am usually right on target when I estimate what I need.
37 I no longer needed the extra jars.
38 24-delicious jars of apple-grape jelly for all to enjoy!