Karen DeMasco’s Spiced Apple Cider Jellies

Another recipe from The Craft of Baking: Spiced Apple Cider Jellies.  DeMasco’s book is full of simple, homey but creatively flavored recipes. But aren’t these humbly named Apple Cider Jellies really pâte de fruit?DeMasco makes this candy sound so easy, I couldn’t resist. All I had was a box of expired no-sugar pectin, and the local supermarket was all out of regular boxed pectin. I persevered anyway. It didn’t seem to want to set up, even with a whole package of the pectin. Well, it was expired, so what did I expect? I added a box of Ko-Jel (carrageenan), and it set up nicely. The resulting jellies are quite tender, and not chewy.

I am going to go out in search of more pectin and try this again. Once again, DeMasco has a deft hand with flavoring. The spicing of the cider is really great (I had the whole cloves, peppercorns, and cinnamon sticks, but I didn’t have and couldn’t find the star anise the recipe calls for).

She says the recipe can be made with other fruit purees mixed with a little cider, and I want to try mango or cranberry next. (For the non-cider versions, you need 1 1/4 cups puree, 2 1/4 cups sugar, 2 T plus 2 tsp. powdered pectin, 1/2 cup cider, 1/4 cup corn syrup).

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