The rose hips are out and berries are ripe, it must be time to make wild hedgerow jellies.
Makes 7 – 8 x 225g jars
1kg crab apples (or cooking apples)
1kg mixed hedgerow berries
Around 900g granulated sugar
- Pick over your fruit, removing stalks and leafy bits and rinsing the berries if necessary.
- Don’t peel or core the apples, just chop them roughly.
- Place all the prepared fruit in a saucepan with 1.2 litres water.
- Bring gently to simmering point and simmer until all the fruit is soft and pulpy. Remove from the heat.
- Have ready a scalded jelly bag or muslin cloth and turn the contents of the pan into it.
- Leave to drip overnight.
- The jelly will turn cloudy if you squeeze the juice through so just let it drip at it’s own pace.
- The next day, measure the juice – you will probably have about 1.2 litres, though this will depend on the berries used.
- For every 600ml of juice, allow 450g sugar.
- Put the juice in a large pan and bring slowly to the boil.
- Add the sugar as it just comes to the boil and keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
- Then boil rapidly without stirring for nine to 10 minutes until setting point is reached.
- Skim the jelly and pot and seal as quickly as possible.
- Use within 12 months.
Spicy Crab Apple Jelly
Use crab apples alone and add a few cloves and a couple of cinnamon sticks when the fruit is being cooked.
Rosehip & Apple Jelly
Use 500g rosehips, first blitzed in a food processor, and 1.5kg crab or cooking apples.
Use 1kg rowan berries and 1kg crab apples. Add the juice of one lemon before adding the sugar. For a really aromatic jelly, add a bunch of sage or thyme when fruit is softening.