This year the apples have been strange. We’ve had lots of cooking apples but (compared to last year) very few eaters. I failed to properly thin out the apples at the allotment so we’ve ended up with a lot of windfalls and small apples (last year the ones at the allotment were all quite large). We’ve also had a lot of other fruit (Raspberries, Strawberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, etc.) so there isn’t much space left in the freezer.
So I decided to make some apple jelly.
This basic recipe produces a nice tasting jelly which can be flavoured to make a whole raft of different jellies suitable for eating and cooking.
Ingredients (all measures are UK Imperial)
- Four Pounds cooking apples;
- Two pints water;
- Rind and Juice of a lemon;
- Sugar (the quantity depends upon the amount of juice extracted from the apples)
- Wash and chop up the apples (cut out any bad bits but you don’t need to peel or core them) and put them in a pan;
- Grate the zest off the lemon and add it to the apples;
- Add the water and bring it to the boil then simmer gently until the fruit is pulpy;
- Strain the apple through a sterilised jelly bag and leave to hang overnight;
- Wash some jars;
- Measure the apple juice the next day, put into a pan and add 1lb sugar per pint of juice (we got 1.25 pints of fruit so added 1.25lbs of sugar);
- Add the lemon juice;
- Put the jars in a warm oven to heat;
- Heat the juice & sugar gently until the sugar is dissolved and then bring it to the boil for about five minutes;
- Test if its set by putting a small quantity on a saucer which has been in the fridge and after a few moment push it gently with a finger and see if it wrinkles;
- Skim off the worst of any scum and pour the hot liquid into the jars;
- Cover with screw top lids or cellophane tops and leave to cool;
- Label and store in a cool dry place.
- When set its ready to use and doesn’t get better by leaving it.
The jelly is great to eat with meats and fruit and also is an excellent condiment to be added when making stews and the like.
If you want to make flavoured jellies (mint, rosemary) add the flavouring at the point where you boil the juice and sugar and then add some fresh just as you pour it into the jars. You can also add food colouring if you like, to turn it green but it doesn’t really need it.