I’ve made a fair few pots of jam this summer – gooseberry, gooseberry & elderflower, marrow & ginger, marrow & orange (divine) and blueberry. While I’m far from an expert jam maker it is getting somewhat easier and less stressful every time, although I am going to invest in a proper jam thermometer soon and try and take more of the guesswork out of the whole setting point palaver.
So today I’m experimenting and stretching my culinary skills (or lack thereof) just that tad further, and I’m making jelly. Blackberry and apple jelly to be precise. I’ve also seen it described as hedgerow jelly. Recipe is simple enough out of a tiny wee book and it really is tiny, look (the ball of string is just for comparison!) The blackberries were picked from the hedges bordering our garden and a friend gave me a bag of apples recently so I figured I’d give it a go.
So you take equal amounts of blackberries and apples (I used a pound of each). Chop apples into small pieces but do not peel or core them. Place in a pan with the washed blackberries and barely cover with water. Bring to the boil slowly and then simmer for an hour. (That’s the easy bit). Then strain the juice through a jelly bag. (Now it got more complicated)
I’m not naturally practical or technically minded and so I was pondering how to safely suspend the jelly bag full of warm cooked fruit (which smells fabulous) without covering the kitchen and myself in purple juice. After a couple of failed attempts I managed it.
And that’s where we are currently at. I’m sitting at my kitchen table looking at the jelly bag suspended over one of my mixing bowls very very slowly dripping juice. The temptation to squeeze it and hurry things along is great but all the books say that will make a cloudy jelly. I’ll report back when its finally done!