I spent a lot of time wondering what went wrong after my Apple Jellies fiasco. After all, as one of my readers pointed out, Lottie and Doof didn’t have trouble with the recipe when they made it. I love that blog, and have had good luck with other recipes on it.
They wouldn’t lie to me any more than Alice Waters would.
I thought of two possibilities. First, I live in the Seattle area, and thus, a damp climate (mildew is our state flower), which could have resulted in problems getting the jellies to dry out. But that problem should have been resolved, I think, by the extensive oven drying time I added.
The second possibility was suggested by this line of the ingredient list: 8 medium apples (3 pounds).
I used eight apples, as the recipe suggested.
I did not, however, weigh them.
It’s a funny thing to have an a-ha moment in the produce section of the supermarket, and probably would have been embarrassing, too, had I not been so caught up in my moment of revelation. Three pounds of apples in my part of the world equals five apples, not eight.
I did calculate the percentages, but I’ll spare you the math; I used much too much. Of course it didn’t dry out the way it should have.
I bought five apples and re-did the recipe, making no other changes to it. It did work – the apples jelled – although they still did require an hour in the oven. They still lacked the gummy-type texture that I was – rightly or wrongly – hoping for, but I noticed that there were bits like that on the sides of the cooking pan, so I suspect if I cooked the apples down a bit further, the whole thing would work out the way I wanted it too.
There was just one other problem: I still didn’t like them very much. They were okay, to be sure, but just sort of plain. I would have preferred a bit of citrus-peel bite or some spiciness or … something. On the other hand, The Child thought they were great this time around – which seems to be just my luck with these things.
I’m pleased to have learned a few things from the experience, but will not likely make Apple Jellies again. I do like the Jellies idea, though, and will probably play around with the recipe posted at The Spiced Life, which involves pectin and sounds like it will be a bit less fuss and a bit more adaptable.
This is my contribution to Weekend Cooking, hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Why not swing by and see if the other participants had better luck?
Beth F says
Good for you for figuring out the problem. I love playing with recipes until I get them just right. I might be inspired to try jellies myself — maybe in February. 🙂
Deb Nance at Readerbuzz says
I’m happy you tried again. I live in Houston which is humid, too, and I always have trouble with humidity when I cook.
Glad you figured it out, sorry you didn’t like them, and let me know what you think if you try the pate de fruit! 🙂
Humidity and elevation can create special problems for cooks and bakers. Well done for your persistence! The jellies look lovely so I would tend to agree with The Child on the one.
Not a big fan of anything -jelly, so I probably would have given up after the first try. They do look yummy, though.
I’m impressed that you went back and tried to correct the problem! I guess the weight of the apples is pretty important.
Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll) says
So cool that you persevered and we got to hear the rest of the story. They look beautiful. But, after your experience, I think our household will be better served by things like candied ginger or citrus peel.
Janel Gradowski says
I’ve always been fascinated with fruit jellies, but have never tried them. I would definitely want to find a recipe that was more on the tangy side, instead of overly sweet.
caite@a lovely shore breeze says
“There was just one other problem: I still didn’t like them very much..” lol, yes, that is a problem.
Diane (bookchickdi) says
I am impressed that you gave it a go again, and I loved that mildew is your state flower (very funny).