A weekend in Gloucestershire drinking up the last of the summer sun and picking up windfalls. Time for apple and ginger jelly. I am not a purist, and proudly use Certo - bottled pectin - to ensure it sets every time. Well, almost.
This recipe is a mash-up of recipes from Cook It Simply and Certo.
2kg cooking apples / crab apples
1.5 litres water (enough to cover the apple)
50g root ginger
sugar (see method)
1 bottle Certo
1. Wash and roughly chop up the apples - removing bruised bits.
2. Peel, chop and bruise the ginger.
3. Use enough water to cover the apples and ginger - simmering for approx 30 mins, until tender, using a potato masher to squish them up.
4. Put in jelly bag, and allow to drip over night - I string up the jelly bag under a chair, but you can buy those on-the-counter jelly strainer kits from places like Lakeland.
5. Pour the juice into a pan, adding the sugar: 800g per 1 litre juice.
6. Heat slowly, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved - add a small piece of butter to reduce foaming.
7. Add Certo (1 bottle), stirring occasionally, then bring to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute.
8. Remove from the heat and test for set - this can be done by putting a few drops of liquid jelly onto a plate, allowing to cool (put into fridge) and pushing with your finger to see if it wrinkles.
9. Once the liquid jelly has cooled a little, skim it (the butter will have reduced foaming but there will still be some to skim off) and pot in sterilised jars - these can be done very easily in the dishwasher. If your dishwasher has a long cycle, then set it off long in advance of the jelly-making process. You can also wash the jars up by hand, and dry in a moderate-heat oven - but last time I did this, the jars got too hot and cracked when I poured in the jelly, so I favour the dishwasher method.
10. Allow the jelly to set - this could take a week or so if there is a low pectin content.