Sunday, December 8, 2019

Adventure 42/50 : Making hard cider jelly

I don't really know how this became an obsession. At some point this year I thought I'd like to make hard cider... which led to the idea of making hard cider jelly. I should be clear that this isn't very like me -- I occasionally cook or bake, but really my crafting/creativity leans toward stitching.

Enter the 50@50 project, where I decided to have 50 adventures, large and small, in this year I've been 50. And "make hard cider jelly" was on the list.

I found a great recipe on the Hitchhiking to Heaven blog -- it's the recipe that every other blog I found on the topic cited. Basically it's hard cider, some sugar, low-sugar pectin, and a bit of lemon juice. I'm not even going to bother to repeat the recipe here -- hers worked perfectly! Seriously -- just use her hard cider jelly recipe.

The nervous part, for me, was the water bath canning, but that was fine too -- and my six little jars of cider all "popped" within a minute of being removed from the bath. Result!

I used a cranberry cider from Incline Cider, a seasonal flavor I hadn't tried before.  I wanted to make sure the jelly came out semi tart and -- most importantly, tasting like hard cider and not like apple juice. It also came out a pretty orangey / salmon pink color.

I'm also thrilled to report that, indeed, it does taste like hard cider. It's a little sweet, but the tartness of the cranberry also comes through. And it's delicious on brie or buttered toast.

This may not feel like an "adventure" for a lot of people, but it felt like one to me as it was a little bit outside of my comfort zone. And I have some really nice jelly to share over the holidays!

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