Hello all! I am new to canning and am kinda just trying to figure things out as I go. Today I decided to make some crab apple jelly from some crab apples I picked a few days ago and I kept running into problems! Firstly the recipe (from the Ball Blue Book guide to canning) said to juice the apples but when I added the amount of water specified the apple mush became thick and dry and started to burn on the bottom. After adding more water I still ended up about a cup short on juice. When I looked online I found various people added various amounts of water; some added an inch or two, some added enough to submerge the apples. I also wasn't sure how long to let the apples drain of their juices and when I Googled it I again found several differing opinions; some people said a few minutes, some a few hours, some almost a day.
The next part of the recipe called for combining the juice and sugar and letting them gel together. Again I was confused as the recipe simply said "cook to gelling point" but it only specified how to tell when it reaches gelling point. So how do I get there? Do I let it boil? Do I turn the heat down and let it set? Do I stir constantly? Frequently?
So I ask, how much water would/do YOU guys add? How long do you let the apples drain? And how exactly DO I "cook to gelling point"? I'm very confused
FYI, even though I didn't end up with the 12 half pints of jelly I was anticipating, I still made enough to fill 8 half pints, plus 3 pints of apple sauce! And I want to make more this week!