CRAB APPLE & BLACKBERRY JELLY:
I found a bumper crop of crab apples last week, 5 trees in a row! I got rather over excited by the prospect of making something without knowing exactly what. Arriving home with a carrier bag full of apples I decided the best partner would be blackberries. I had picked a good kg a couple of days previous. 10 minutes intensive googling later I identified HFW’s recipe as a good starting point. I always find it difficult to stick to the letter when it comes to recipes so I tend to go off piste a little and put my stamp on things. The recipe below produces a lovely jelly that is the perfect partner for hot buttered toast…obviously. For a winter warmer drink add a spoonful to a cup of boiling water (perhaps a splash of scotch wouldn’t harm either). Its guaranteed to bring back those autumn memories of hedgerow foraging.
- About 1kg Blackberries
- Around 1kg crab apples
- 1.5kg granulated sugar
- Jelly Bag/Cotton dish cloth/muslin
- Splash of red wine
- Cinnamon stick
Wash & chop the stalks off the crab apples and quarter. Throw them into a big pan with the washed blackberries, slosh in about a cup of red wine if you have it to hand otherwise water. Add the cinnamon stick (Take it out after 10 mins if your not keen on too much spice flavor ). Boil for 1/2 hour or so until the fruit has pulped sterring occasionally. Use a colandar lined with a cloth or a jelly bag and poor in the pulp. Let it drain into another pan or bowl. I let mine cool a little and then squeezed out as much juice as I could. Put the juice back onto the heat and add the sugar. Keep boiling until it reaches setting point*. And thats it, pour into your sterilised jars seal and store in the usual ‘cool dark place’
*To test for setting: Place a small plate or saucer in to the fridge for 15 mins. Pour a spoonful of the jelly on to the plate and return to the fridge for 5 mins. Push the edges of the jam with your finger, it is set when it all wrinkly and crinkly. Always test for setting point at the time the recipe suggests, if not set continue to cook checking every 5 minutes.
Posted on Monday, September 26th 2011