I had some difficulty with this jelly, though. It wasn't all sweet smelling garlic and chewy morsels of ginger in a perfectly set jammy consistency. No, it was a syrup to begin with. Let me explain: I wanted to do this jelly with just apples providing the pectin. But for a bunch of reasons it didn't set well. Here are the reasons:
1. My apples were old. I needed to use them up, and I knew this might hurt my set.
2. They were not super tart. The tarter the apple, the higher the pectin content. Again, I knew.
3. It was raining, and had been for days. Read this great article by Annette from Sustainable Eats on Canning Across America on how weather affects the gel stage.
4. And, I usually can at night, but I was doing this during my son's nap, so I sort of rushed it even though I didn't get to 220 degrees. It seemed to be setting and was dripping off the spoon nicely, but, well, no dice. I rushed it. It was taking forever! I'm so impatient.
Although I could have left this as a syrup/glaze and it would have just been fine, I sort of wanted a jelly. I had some Pomona pectin around, so I re-processed the batch. I rarely do this. But I also wanted to try the Pomona. I never had before! I've been relying on high-pectin fruit and apples for jams and jellies for the past few years, with the occasional commercial pectin. For some stupid reason I always thought Pomona would be a pain with the calcium water and all. (Pomona comes with two packets. One to make the calcium water which activates the pectin, unlike other pectins that need sugar to make the pectin work.) It worked like a charm. I didn't notice a chalky taste as some people claim to find with Pomona. And did you know they have a jam hotline, or as they call it a "jamline?" And it's also sold in bulk. Check out their website. And who can resist their pretty packages?
2 cups of apple pectin stock
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 T lemon juice
3 heads of roasted garlic
2 T candied/crystallized ginger, chopped
1 T apple cider vinegar
1/2 t salt
1 t calcium water
1 t pectin
Heat apple extract, lemon juice and sugar in a pot and begin to dissolve. Mix garlic with ginger, vinegar, salt and stir into apple mixture. Add calcium water. Bring to a boil. Take a few tablespoons of the mixture into a bowl and add the pectin, stir well avoiding clotting. Add back to boiling mixture and stir well for one or two minutes to thoroughly dissolve pectin. Bring back to boil and remove from heat. Fill hot jars with the jelly leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process in boiling water bath for ten minutes.
N.B. I didn't use the Pomona exactly the way they direct you to. I went my own way hoping it would work and it did. I didn't veer entirely off-course, but be warned.
I know its ridiculous to take a picture of my jelly outside, but it's been so gorgeous out! Look at my little mini-daffs in the background. Are they sunshine-y, or what? Oh, for the love of spring!