Green Apple Jelly

I made this jelly almost two weeks ago and I’ve already written quite enough on the glories of pectin, so I’m going to keep this short.

I made the jelly using Melba apples from Ela Orchard in Rochester, WI. Bob Ela is like the friendliest, smiliest person on earth and he grows great apples. He also makes the best cider in the state.

You don’t see Melbas in the store too much because they’re very fragile, bruise easily and must be refrigerated, unlike a lot of other apples. But, these qualities actually make them really nice for jelly because they break down so quickly when you boil them, releasing their pectin.

Look at how fast they disintegrate. These pictures are taken about five minutes apart.

I let them simmer, starting with water just covering them, for about 30 min and strained them first through a chinois and then through damp muslin.

The result was a crystal clear liquid, which I measured and added to an equal amount of sugar, by weight, and the juice of three lemons. I let that simmer until it set and canned it.

Here’s the result.

7 thoughts on “Green Apple Jelly

  1. anna says:


    first of all, that chicken with roasted vegetables looks amazing and delicious. i’m impressed.

    second, jam ideas:

    1. figs!
    2. cherry and earl grey tea
    3. raspberry with whole almonds and maybe cinnamon? like a linzer tart in a jar?

    i just made blackberry jam with rosemary, and i have to say, it’s delicious. i’m going to make another batch so you and clare can have some when you come down to chicago.

    hope you’re well!


  2. davidmatthew says:

    Ooh… Cherry & earl gray huh? Can you get fresh bergamot? I also like the linzer idea. I can’t wait to try the blackberry jam. And maybe it’s too obvious, but what about rosemary fig?

  3. Clare says:

    whoa, i can’t wait to try that blackberry. that’s one of my favorite flavors.
    here’s what i really like about the green apple jelly: it’s beautiful! you should try to get that texture/look with some other jams intended for eating!
    ps rosemary fig is obvious?

  4. Kathryn says:

    I just found your blog and it couldn’t be better timing! My water bath canner seems to have a permanent place on my stovetop lately as I’m rushing around to preserve all the wonderful food around me before it spoils! I had a question though: when you say that you ‘let that simmer until it set and canned it’, how do you know when it has set? Also, what kind of processing times do you use? Thanks! I’m going to try your ground cherry chamomile jam this weekend… I’ll let you know how it goes.

  5. davidmatthew says:


    I’m so glad you like the blog! I’m having a lot of fun writing it. As for how to know when it’s set up and ready, here’s what I do: put a small plate and spoon in the freezer and when the jam stops making large bubbles and releasing much steam, I use the spoon to put a bit of the jam onto the cold plate and wait a minute or two for it to cool and check the set. As for processing times, I actually don’t process them in a water bath. I heat the jars in a 250 degree oven for 10 minutes and then hot pack the jam from the simmering pot into the jars. I seal them and turn them upside down to sterilize the lid. It sounds too easy to be safe, but I actually checked with our local food safety inspector and he says its totally safe and kosher. The reason is that the large amount of sugar in the preserves acts as a preservative (hence the name) by limiting the amount of water, just as salt would. So, you can make the jam and keep that water bath working on other projects! Let me know what you think of the ground cherry jam. I really liked it on a baguette with some fresh, local chevre.

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