Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Christmas Condiments

By adapting my Crab Apple Jelly recipe you can make the most delicious warming jellies to enjoy during the coldest months.

To make the Christmas Condiments pictured above simply leave out the vanilla pod and add in 3 broken up cinnamon sticks, 12 whole cloves, a tablespoon of ground ginger and 2 roughly chopped oranges.
Once the apples have cooked into a mash stir in 5 blackberries to get jelly this colour. You can get any colour from a pale pink to deep purple by adding more or fewer blackberries. This jelly goes beautifully with meats and can be used instead of cranberry sauce.

Click here for the recipe for Vanilla Spice Jelly.

Vanilla Spice Jelly

By adapting my crab apple jelly recipe you can make the most delicious warming jellies to enjoy during the coldest months. To make my vanilla spice jelly, which is a delightful accompaniment to cheeses and warm bread, simply replace the blackberries with 2 teaspoons of nutmeg and 1 of ginger. Simples!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Crab Apple Jelly

Mid August to mid September is the best time for picking crab apples. Gather at least 5kg of crab apples from the ground under the tree and from the branches. Try to get a good mix of windfall apples and slightly greener ones from the branches.
Wash and then chop the apples making sure to retain the stems, skin and seeds. Place in a large pot with a vanilla pod and a cinnamon stick.
Add enough water to just cover the apples. Cook until the apples are soft. Add a handful of blackberries at this stage if you would like your jelly to be pink.
Place in a sterilized piece of muslin and rest this bundle in a colander suspended over a pot. Leave overnight to collect the maximum amount of juice in a large pan. Do not squeeze the bag or you will have cloudy jelly!
The next day heat the juice over a moderate to high heat, stirring constantly and once boiling add 1kg of jam sugar for every 24 fluid ounces of juice.Return to the boil for approximately 1 minute or until setting point is reached.
Pour into sterilised jars (I re-use sauce, mayo, pesto and other condiment jars and then discard them after they have been used once for jam), wipe tops and cover with lids.

Place in a boiling water bath for at least 10 minutes. Remove and cool slowly overnight covered with a tea towel.

The jar lids should be sunken in the centre by the next morning. If there is a stubborn one that wont seal, place it in the fridge and eat within 4 weeks. The sealed jars will keep for at least a year maybe longer but ours never last that long.

Your finished product will look like this! Isn't it pretty?

Crab apple jelly is yummy and we like to eat it on toast and porridge, as flavouring in home made ice cream, over store bought ice cream, pancakes, on muesli, over wheatabix and mixed in yogurt. If you think of any other ways to enjoy this jelly then please leave a comment below this post.