Whilst traipsing around on the internet looking for something to preserve, I found an intriguing recipe for Apple Earl Grey Tea Almond Jellyand needing an excuse to go to David's Tea I decided this would do the trick. I love the idea of all of those flavours mingled together, but didn't relish the thought of having the apples hanging in a cheese cloth over night. To be honest, it just seemed like a lot of work and I wasn't in the mood for it. There are times when cutting up apples, boiling them and hanging them and watching the juices drip out over a 24 hour period is just what I am in the mood for and other times I want to spend a couple of hours in the kitchen and at the end of it have the satisfaction of a row of full jars on my countertop.
So sticking to the 'instant satisfaction- generally feeling lazy- but still want to spend time in my kitchen' approach I decided to alter the recipe to something a little quicker and see what kind of results I would get. Keeping in mind not to alter anything that could make it unsafe. You will see that because I didn't cut and hang the apples, I added liquid pectin. The seeds from the apples would have provided enough pectin for the unaltered recipe. So if you are going the hard core route you won't need the pectin.
When reading the name of the jelly I decided to prioritize the earl grey over the apples and bought a gorgeous earl grey from David's. Just look at those gorgeous blue flecks. It has a very rich aromatic flavour which you won't get from bagged tea.
Don't let the photos fool you, not a single apple was sacrificed in the making of this jelly. The apple in the shot was my afternoon snack. It just looked so nice sitting on the cutting board next to the loose tea. :)
Makes 5-6 250ml jars (Basic instructions for hot water bath canning can be found at National Center for Home Food Preservation website.
4 cups Tropicana fresh squeezed apple juice
1 cup water
4 cups sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons Earl Grey tea(loose)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 3 oz bag liquid pectin
Boil 1 cup of water and soak your loose Earl Grey tea for 3 1/2 minutes. Strain tea leaves and put the tea aside. To keep it clean and simple, I used one of David's tea bags that I got as a birthday gift from a good friend of mine. Thanks Joa :)
In a wide bottomed non reactive pot heat the apple juice over medium heat. Add the juice from your lemon and when the mixture is warm add your sugar and continue stirring until completely dissolved.
Increase the heat to a boil and stir until just before setting point. Add the tea and return to full boil.
Add the almond extract and pectin, return to a full boil for 1 minute and then remove from heat.
Ladle mixture into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe rims and put lids on your jars and put them into hot water bath for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool and allow jelly to set.
In anticipation of the first taste, I decided to make buttermilk pancakes for breakfast and this jelly was the perfect partner.