Friday, 16 September 2011

Preserves part 4 million and twelve: mint and apple jelly

More preserves... yes there are more things I can be given free (or nearly free) and turn into jams, jellies and cordials. I just tweeted Jules of Butcher, baker to say how satisfying I'm finding it being able to turn free (or nearly free) food into something that will last me long after the fresh ingredients would have found their way into the compost bin.

Last time Mark went home his Mum sent him back with a pillowcase, bag of crapapples, a large bunch of mint and the instructions for 3 different types of preserves. I've already blogged the plum jam, and so this is my first experience of a jelly. It's very similar to a jam except that you strain the fruit after you've cooked it down, so that when you boil it up with the sugar, it's a clear liquid. What you end up with is beautiful, an amazing amber colour in the case of the crabapples and an almost clear set with tiny flecks of mint for the apple and mint. Just gorgeous, as the sunlight catches them they actually twinkle.

I made this with Bramley apples, that had been epically reduced in Sainsburys - I am such a fan of the reductions in their fruit and veg departments for preserving - the other week it was strawberries for 19p and this was 9p for 4 huge Bramley apples (the last 2 I've just stewed up with some spices and a little sugar, then frozen to have on porridge as it gets colder).

Apple and Mint Jelly


2.5 lbs cooking apples
1 pint distilled white vinegar
3-4 taablespoons chopped mint


Preserving pan
Measuring jug
Wooden spoon
Jam jars


Wash and chop the apples (don't bother to peel or core) then put in your preserving pan with 1 pint of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 45 minutes - until they're soft
Add the vinegar and boil rapidly for another 5 minutes (beware, it smells really really strong)
Spoon the pulp into the pillowcase - which you've suspended intricately on an upturned chair over a bowl and allow the pulp to strain for at least 12 hours. You mustn't squeeze the pillowcase no matter how much you want to or feel like no liquid is coming out as that'll make your jelly cloudy.  I was incredibly restrained and managed not to.

After the 12 hours, put your saucer in the fridge
Now measure the strained liquid into a measuring jug and for every pint of liquid add 1lb of sugar to your preserving pan. I ended up with 1lb and 12oz of sugar in mine.
Heat the liquid and sugar gently, stirring all the while until the sugar has dissolved
Now boil it rapidly for about 10 minutes until the setting point is reached - test using your saucer
Stir in the chopped mint, jar up promptly and there you have it - apple and mint jelly. Ideal with your next roast pork (personally, I'm planning a roast shoulder of pork just so I can try it)

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

 photo copyright.jpg
blogger template by envye