Apple cider cinnamon jelly–a fast, easy holiday gift!

Right about now, you are starting the whirlwind of Christmas parties at office, church, school, etc., and if you’re anything like me, are just now remembering that you wanted to give some small something to a host of people.  And furthermore, if you are like me, you have no ability or intention of going out and spending huge wads of cash on all these small somethings.   This apple cider cinnamon jelly makes a pretty little jewel of a gift, one that requires a minimal investment of both time and cash, and one that will please the recipients, too!

There is a recipe out there for just plain cinnamon candy jelly, calling for Red Hot candies, water, sugar, and pectin, that’s it.  (And if that’s what you want, you can find it on Cooks.com.)  I tried that one year, and didn’t like how the sugar crystallized in the jelly.  Since then, I have used apple cider in my jelly, and it’s been perfect. Here’s the method:

Apple Cider Cinnamon Jelly

  • 4 c. apple cider
  • 1 package dry pectin (Sure-Jell)
  • 1/3 c. Red Hot cinnamon candies (two words:  dollar store!)
  • 5 1/2 c. sugar

You will need 8 or 9 half-pint jars, or 20 of the tiny 4 oz. jars, sterilized.  Keep them upside down on a clean towel until you need them, and put the sterilized lids and rings in a pan or bowl of very hot water.

In a stock pot, mix the cider and the pectin over high heat;  add Red Hots and stir continually as they dissolve.  Allow mixture to come to a boil.

Add the sugar all at once, and keep stirring.  Stir until it comes to a full rolling boil, and keep stirring for about another minute (it will foam up quite a lot.)  Turn off heat and keep stirring to allow the foam to recede.

Pour or ladle the hot jelly into the jars, and adjust the lids and rings, so the rings are just tightened, but not too tight.  Put the jars into a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, and then allow to cool on a wire rack or a towel on the counter.

It took me about an hour and a half to make 3 batches of jelly–24 of the 4 oz. jars, and 14 of the half-pints.  All that’s left is to put a pretty label on each jar, and to give them away!

Laura