Wash apples and place in a large pot. If apples are small they can be put in the pot whole, if they are larger half or quarter them depending on their size. I use small apples fresh from the tree so I throw them in the pot whole.
Add 5 cups of water to the pot and bring to boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes until apples are soft. Mash the apples with a potato masher once they are soft enough.
Pour into a cheesecloth-lined colander over a bowl to separate juice. I use several J cloths to line my colander. (Just enough to cover the holes). Allow to drain for at least 2hrs without pressing or forcing juice from the apples for the clearest jelly.
I reserve the cooked apples and put them through a pulper to have apple sauce. I then discard the skins, seeds, and stems. Usually I have more than 5 lbs of apples so I can the juice in quart sealers so I can make jelly all winter.
In a large pot, combine 4 cups of the apple juice, candies, food colouring (if desired) and pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
Stir in sugar; return to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil and stir 1 minute.
Remove from heat; skim off foam with a metal spoon.
Ladle hot mixture into six hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Jars must be hot so that the hot jelly doesn’t break the glass.
Wipe rims with a wet paper towel. Place metal lids on jars; screw on bands until resistance is just met, but don’t over tighten.
Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 10 minutes.
Remove jars and cool. Jelly may take up to 3 days to set so don’t panic if it doesn’t set right away. .