I have made it my mission today to make a range of fruit jellies. I have so many requests for spreads that don’t contain pips, seeds or skins by people who have diverticular disease or similar, or even people who have false teeth – truly.
Quite apart from any dietary or dental considerations, jellies are outstandingly tasty. The yield is not so good as jam obviously, but the flavours are instensified. They are delicious on scones with whipped cream and a gravy or jus or a casserole style dish is much enhanced by the addition of a very small amount.
Owing to the generosity of friends and their giving me fruit from their gardens, I’m able today to make raspberry jelly, blackcurrant, crabapple, blackberry and plum.
One thing to remember is not to try to make your jelly in huge batches. I make batches of no more than 6 cups of the fruit liquid plus sugar.
Making jelly is really simple. Just put the fruit in a large saucepan and barely cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer until the fruit is really soft, then pour the mixture through a colander, capturing the juice underneath. Pour this liquid through a sieve lined with 2 thicknesses of muslin or a thin cloth.
To each cup of the resulting liquid, add one cup of sugar. Put back on the heat, bring to the boil, stirring and then cook over medium heat until the settng point is reached. This will depend on the fruit – anything from 12 minutes to 30.
To test for set place 2 teaspoons of the hot mixture on a cold saucer, place in fridge for a few minutes. Run your finger through the cold jelly; if the surface is quite firm and wrinkles when you pull your finger through it, the jelly has reached setting point.
Pour into warm sterilised jars and seal immediately.
(To sterilise the jars, wash in hot soapy water, rinse and place upside down on a clean cloth or dish drainer to drain. Place on a tray in a cold oven. Turn oven to 110°C . When the oven reaches this temperature, turn off the heat and leave the bottles for 10 minutes. To make sure lids are sterile, wash and dry. When lid is placed on jar of hot jelly, turn briefly upside down – the heat of the jelly will sterilise the lid)
Store in a cool, dry, dark place