Hedgerow jelly

1449755124-hedgerow-jellyAs we’re coming into winter, we need to make the most of all the gorgeous berries that autumn brings before all of the trees and hedgerows are bare! That’s why we’ve decided to share a recipe for a delicious jelly, packed full of sweet and sour fruits. This would be great for making well in advance and for giving as part of a hamper for Christmas. Or, even better, you could make some for our Bring & Buy stalls!

Ingredients

  • 1kg crab apples or Bramleys
  • 1kg mixture of your chosen autumn fruits (e.g. blackberries, sloes, damsons, elderberries, haws, rosehips, plums and rowan berries)
  • 2 litres water
  • 2kg granulated sugar

Method

  1. Rinse and chunk the apples (crab apples just need to be halved). Strip the berries from their stalks, rinse and shake dry.
  2. Put all the fruit in a preserving pan or large saucepan with the apples. Add enough water to submerge everything completely.
  3. Bring the pan to boil, turn down the heat, cover loosely and simmer for about an hour, until the fruit is soft and mushy.
  4. Strain the pulp and juice through a muslin lined sieve or drop everything into a jelly cloth (an old, clean pillowcase is perfect) pinned to an upturned stool, with the pan beneath to catch the drippings. Let the juice drip naturally without pressing or the finished jelly won’t be as clear as you would wish.
  5. Measure the juice (it’ll still be cloudy) and return to the pan. Add 500g of sugar for every 500ml juice and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar crystals dissolve completely. Bring the pan quickly to the boil, skim off any white foam that rises, turn down the heat and leave to simmer, uncovered, til setting point is reached (105c on the sugar thermometer). Test after 10 minutes or drop a little of the liquid on to a cold saucer and push it with your finger. When it wrinkles, it’s ready!
  6. Pot in sterilised glass jars while still warm. When cool, cover the surface of the jelly, if you like, with a round piece of greaseproof paper dipped in whisky or vodka to keep the mould at bay. Seal tightly and store in a cool place.

This is such a gorgeous jelly that can be used as jam, or it would work beautifully warmed up and poured over vanilla ice cream. The pectin to help this jelly comes from the skin, pips and core of the apple, so it is important to leave your chunks whole for this recipe! Trust us, it works really well.

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