Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Boiled Cider Jelly

Boiled cider jelly is the easiest jelly in the world to make.

It is so easy that I made it without intending to.

I had started making boiled cider, which is a very boring name for ... boiled cider.  It is apple cider which has been boiled so that it is reduced to a syrup.  Apple syrup sounds much more appetizing, so I don't know why they don't call it that. 

Boiled cider jelly is apple cider which has been boiled long enough to reduce it to ... jelly.

What happened is that I poured, oh, somewhere between a quart or two, into a saucepan.  I brought it to rolling boil, then reduced it to something more like a bubbly simmer.  I kept it going there for almost an hour, waiting for it to get syrupy.

Foam starts collecting on the top, which I skim off.  It does not appear to be getting much thicker, although it is reducing.  Boiled cider is reduced to about 1/7 of its original volume, but I can't tell exactly how much I'm reducing the cider. 

Finally, after an hour, it has reduced to a mere inch or so on the bottom of the pot, but it doesn't really seem much thicker.  It pours.  It may coat the back of a spoon, but not very convincingly.

Once in the jar, though, and a couple hours later, I see I am wrong, for it has become gelatinous.

I have made boiled cider jelly.

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Apparently I had passed the 1/7 original volume level and went as far as 1/9 the original volume of cider, at which point you get boiled cider jelly all by itself, with no other additives.    Apples naturally contain pectins that will allow it jell.   

Put a spoonful of this in your mouth and all you taste is APPLE, in all caps.  It's very sweet and intense and delicious.  Considering that we've left apple season behind, it's a wonderful way to recapture the taste of autumn. 

But how to use it?  You can use boiled cider jelly as any other jelly, spread on toast for example, but you can also mix a spoonful in a cup of hot water for some instant hot cider.  You can also use it as a glaze for hams.  I am looking forward to using it as a kind of apple extract to add extra apple taste to apple pie. 


  1. Awesome accidental discovery!

  2. seems to be yummy!!!!!

  3. Years ago at a place called Greenwood Farm in Northfield,MA. I made Cider Jelly and Cider Syrup as a part of our orchard business. We sold it at the Cider House and shipped them both around the country. The town went into mourning when we closed the farm.


      Move Over Maple
      October 29, 1992|KATHIE JENKINS



      "If you choose the right apples," says Neal Smith about his pure cider syrup, "you don't need sugar." And he ought to know: Smith grows 40 varieties of antique apples on his five-acre orchard. These include the apple that both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson prized above all others, the Spitzenberg, as well as yellow Newtown Pippins, Roxbury and Golden Russets, Ribstons, Foxwelps and Arkansas Blacks.

      Smith, a former Catholic priest, never intended to grow apples. When he bought the farm, it was to house juvenile delinquents. But problems with state funding developed, and out of necessity, Smith began growing apples.

      Smith sells his apples, but he also uses them in the products he cooks in the farm kitchen. These, like the apples, are antiques. It took six years for Smith to perfect the pure cider syrup commonly used in Colonial kitchens. To make the syrup clear, Smith even had to design his own evaporating system.

      It was worth the work. The syrup is sweet and tart and too good to use only on pancakes. Pour it on oatmeal or over ice cream. Use it as topping for fruit or apple pies. And at $16 (including shipping) for two 12-ounce jugs, this is the perfect present for the person who thought he had everything.

      Greenwood Farm

      R.F.D. No. 2, Box 70

      Northfield, Mass. 01360

      (413) 498-5995 MasterCard, Visa

      Hi Neal,
      I clipped this article, "An antique cider syrup"...many years ago. I live near Placerville, Ca.('Apple Hill').
      Today is the 1st time looked for your product. Sorry, you don't have the farm anymore. I found the history of Washington & Jefferson growing these apples interesting & hadn't heard of any of them. If you could give me a tip, where I could buy the cider syrup... Thank You!