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Apple Jelly without Added Pectin

4 cups apple juice (abt 3 lbs apples and 3 cups water)
2 tablespoons strained lemon juice -- if desired
3 cups sugar

To prepare juice. Select about one-fourth underripe and three-fourths fully ripe tart apples. Sort, wash and remove stem and blossom ends; do not pare or core. Cut apples into small pieces. Add water, cover, and bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until apples are soft. Extract juice.

To make jelly. Measure apple juice into a kettle. Add lemon juice and sugar and stir well. Boil over high heat to 8 degrees above the boiling point of water, or until jelly mixture sheets from a spoon.

Remove from heat; skim off foam quickly. Pour jelly immediately into hot, sterile canning jars to 1/4 inch from top. Seal, and process 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.

This recipe yields 4 to 5 half-pint jars.

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