- 8 lb apples
- 10 cups water
- 6 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 tsp Calvados, brandy, or Cognac (optional)
Rinse apples and cut coarsely into chunks. Put apple chunks, cores, and seeds into a large stockpot over high heat. Add water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, until apples are tender, 20-30 min.
Line 2 colanders with cheesecloth and set over 2 large bowls. Ladle apples and liquid into colanders. Let stand at least 3 hours and do not press down on any solids. Measure out juice to make 8 cups.
Pour it into a stockpot over high heat and fitted with a candy thermometer, add sugar, lemon juice, and ginger, and bring to a boil. Skim and discard any white scum that rises to surface. Begin testing for doneness when temperature reaches 220°. Turn off heat and test jelly on a chilled plate in freezer. When it wrinkles and holds its shape, it’s done. If not, continue to cook and re-test it at intervals. When done, remove from heat, stir in liquor, if using, and ladle into clean jars, then cap tightly. Refrigerate.