Since I was writing about apples for my column this week, I thought I’d run this spice cider jelly from the new jam and jelly (and preserves and compote) book from Better Homes and Gardens. The editors of this book solved a common problem in preserving books: Giving readers ideas for how to use the jams, jellies and more they make.
My fridge is full of condiments I can’t seem to use up, so it’s inspiring to see a photo of a grilled chicken wrap next to a curry coconut apple butter recipe, rosemary tomato jam served with slices of grilled halloumi cheese or raspberry lemonade jelly spread on a mini cupcake.
This recipe turns a traditional spiced cider drink into a spreadable treat for toasted bagels and fresh biscuits. When warmed, it makes a great glaze for pork chops and pound cake, too. As the editors suggested for the lemon-lime honeydew jelly, this jelly would also be great mixed into a whiskey- or rum-based cocktail.
Ground spices won’t make for a clear jelly, though, so seek out whole from the baking aisle or, better yet, the bulk spice section.
Cider ‘N’ Spice Jelly
5 cups fresh-pressed apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks, broken
8 whole allspice
8 whole cloves
7 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 of a 6-oz. pkg. (1 foil pouch) liquid fruit pectin
In a 6- to 8-quart nonreactive heavy pot, combine the first four ingredients (through cloves). Bring to boiling; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Line a sieve with a double layer of 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth; place sieve over a large bowl. Strain cider mixture through cheesecloth. If desired, reserve spices to add to canning jars.
Wash the pot, then return strained cider to pot. Stir in sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add pectin. Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Ladle hot jelly into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. If desired, add some of the reserved cinnamon, allspice and cloves to each jar. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids and screw bands.
Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks. Makes 7 half-pint jars.
— From “Better Homes and Gardens Jams and Jellies: Our Very Best Sweet & Savory Recipes” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $19.99)