Tammy Reiss says that cooking is one of the things she enjoys most. She has won blue ribbons three times with her apple jelly. “The one time I did not take first place with this recipe was when I decided to take a shortcut with skimming the foam. I added a dollop of butter, which is supposed to take care of the foam. But it made the jelly cloudy. This year I told myself no shortcuts and went back to skimming the foam, and I got another blue ribbon.”
Remove the stems and blossom ends from the apples. Cut into small pieces (do not peel or core). Place in a large pot with the water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Crush the cooked apples with a potato masher and simmer for 5 minutes more.
Pour the apple mixture into cheesecloth and let drain into a cooking pot until the dripping stops. Press very gently to get the last few drops of juice. Measure the juice and add water if necessary (no more than ½ cup) to make 7 cups.
Measure the sugar into a bowl. Stir the pectin into the apple juice and bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add the sugar to the juice and return to a full boil. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and skim off the foam. Immediately ladle into ½-pint jars and seal. Invert the jars for 5 minutes, then turn upright.