making apple jellies

December 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm 8 comments

Over the summer I had numerous offers of crab apples but was too sick to go picking or venture into the kitchen.  I thought I’d missed my chance to make apple jellies this year but the crab apple trees dotted around the business park where I work are an Autumn variety and as the leaves began to fall from the trees the tiny cherry like apples started to turn from red to orange.  I unburdened the branches of 3kg of crab apples at the end of November and finally got round to tackling my haul last week.

I love the simplicity of making jellies as there’s so little preparation involved.  Using apples as a base for a jelly is brilliant because you don’t even have to use the whole fruit.  With eating or cooking apples you can use the leftover scraps (cores and peelings, which is where the greatest amount of pectin is found) from apples destined for finer things.  In this instance apart from removing the stalks and twigs the crab apples were left whole and once softened I just bashed them with a potato masher to release as much juice from the fruit as possible.  

Plain crab apple jelly is a beautiful pink colour but has limited use for me as a vegetarian so I strained off just a couple of jars and added dried mint and balsamic vinegar to the rest of the syrupy liquid.

My Mint Jelly didn’t set as well as previous batches so I’m calling it ‘Apple and Mint Jelly Sauce‘.  I may have been a bit heavy handed with the mint but then that’s how I like it!  Here’s a picture from last year for how enticing it looks as a thicker set jelly …

If you’d like to experiment with jelly making then I follow Pam Corbin’s guidance in the River Cottage Preserves Handbook.  Pam’s  general rule of thumb seems to be:

Add 600ml water per 1kg fruit.
Add 450g sugar per 600ml strained fruit liquid.

I’ve been steadily emptying the freezer of fruit to make way for the batches of soup, casserole and bolognese sauce I hope to make in anticipation of baby’s arrival.  So the shelves are now restocked with Damson Jam and Raspberry Vinegar as well.  

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Entry filed under: in the kitchen.

Winners of the Hotel Chocolat Giveaway (not) making Christmas Pudding Truffles

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. greg becker  |  December 21, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    my dad loves jellies so one of these recipies would have made a great xmas present, but too late he’ll have to make do with a selection of fine ales (poor man) still maybe next year!

    Reply
  • 2. maureen  |  December 22, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    you have been busy!
    have you cleaned the oven as well?!

    Reply
  • 3. Nip it in the bud  |  December 22, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Greg – I can’t imagine he’ll be too glum to receive ales. If you have your usual glut of pumpkins next year you could always make him this

    Maureen – that’s on G’s list since it’ll need some industrial strength Mr Muscle to tackle it (he’s a bit busy with more pressing task though like plumbing and tiling in the bathroom and trying to fix our broken boiler!)

    Reply
  • 4. greg becker  |  December 22, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    thank you! thats a great idea.

    Reply
  • 5. Catherine  |  December 22, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Wow – this is inspiring! I always wonder what can be done with the many smaller fruits dropping from the trees!

    I just received my Hotel Chocolat gift – wow, thank you so much!!

    Merry Christmas!!

    Reply
  • 6. Johanna GGG  |  December 22, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    merry christmas nic – and best of luck with the baby’s arrival next year – hope the freezer and preserves will keep you eating well

    Reply
  • 7. Shaheen  |  December 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Happy Christmas Nic – Warm wishes for the little ones arrival next year x

    Reply
  • 8. five ways with … a ton of apples | Nip it in the bud  |  October 17, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    […] apple herb jellies […]

    Reply

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