I won $1600 on a slot machine the first time I was in Vegas. You have two choices, give it back through gambling or give it back by eating well. I chose food and headed to Le Cirque at the Bellagio. It was an amazing meal but the thing I fell for the hardest were these little raspberry jellies they served with the check. There might be a reason for that but that is beside the point. I have had jellies a couple of times since and they just never cease to amaze me. The sugary exterior with the explosion of flavor from the fruit inside gets me everytime. I have looked around and tried a lot of recipes. Some use apple pectin but I can never find it close by. I really don't want to have to order something for a recipe that I want to be accessible for anyone else who might give it a go. There are a couple of critical things. You need a candy thermometer for this. Make sure you cook the syrup to 219 degrees on your candy thermometer or it won't set right and have everything ready to go. Mis en place is crucial or you might get lumps and there is nothing worse than a lump in your jellies. I used Certo Premium Liquid Fruit Pectin which you can find in the canning section of most well stocked grocery stores. - thirschfeld —thirschfeld
Test Kitchen Notes
Don't fear candy making! These easy, sweet jellies are beautiful -- crystal clear with little flecks of spice. Dredging in sugar makes them sparkle for an elegant touch. - Stephanie —The Editors
100 half inch square jellies
1 1/2 cups
organic apple juice, I used Martinelli's, you just want something that is clear
Apple Jack or Calvados
2 1/2 cups
light corn syrup
Certo Premium Liquid Pectin
a heavy pinch of allspice
a few gratings of fresh nutmeg
In This Recipe
Sometimes it is hard to get your thermometer to read the syrup correctly so it is important that you use a small enough pan that you get an accurate reading but also large enough the syrup doesn't boil over. I used a 1 1/2 quart reduction pan. It has sides that bevel out from the bottom.
Take an 8 inch x 8 inch cake pan and spray the bottom with spray oil this will help the plastic wrap to stick. Take a large sheet of plastic wrap and line the pan making sure to smooth out all wrinkles. Set it aside.
Place the 1/2 cup of pectin in a small mixing bowl. Set it aside with a small whisk and a ladle sitting next to it.
Place the apple juice, calvados, sugar, corn syrup and the spices into a small pan. Place it over high heat and bring it to a boil stirring it a couple of time along the way to get the sugar dissolved.
As it boils keep an eye on it so it doesn't boil over and adjust the heat as necessary. Place the candy thermometer into the syrup and leave it there. When it reaches 215 degrees using a ladle remove about a quarter cup of syrup and while whisking pour it into the pectin to temper it. Add the pectin back to the syrup and whisk to blend.
Bring the syrup to 219 degrees and immediately pour it into the lined cake pan. Let it sit until it is completely cool.
Using the plastic wrap as handles gently remove the jelly from the pan. Cut into 1/2 inch squares and roll in sugar. I like to put them in pleated candy cups, and serve.
*note* I have heard if you let these cure overnight uncovered they are easier to cut. I think I have to agree although I found a good trick to cutting them. They can be just a little sticky. I used a carving knife that I sprayed with a thin coat of neutral flavored spay oil and they cut magnificently. While they cut fine after cooling I did not try the oiled knife trick so they may be just fine then too.