Last year our wonderful Bramley apple tree didn’t produce any apples – only the second time it has failed in 20 years. Luckily I had plenty left in the freezer from the previous year and have been able to work through them. I thought it would be good to try and empty the freezer ready for this year’s harvest and so made some Blackberry and Apple Jelly which is lovely on a a slice of toast, or on your porage, or with yoghurt……
It looks like it was a wise move, as this year’s harvest is immense! There are masses of apples and they are absolutely beautiful. One of our neighbours came round to help us pick the first few and went home with a huge bag. This still left us with loads and despite several hours of peeling, chopping and stewing I don’t seem to have made any headway with reducing the pile by the back door. And there are still loads on the tree. They will keep us going for a while anyway.
Blackberry and Apple Jelly
1kg cooking apples (I used 1kg of cooking apples that I had peeled, cored and stewed before freezing)
Juice of half a lemon
Muslin straining bag
5 x 400g jam jars
- If you are using cooking apples fresh, then you don’t need to peel and core them – just chop into 2cm-ish chunks. For this batch I used 1kg of cooking apples that I had peeled, cored and stewed before freezing last autumn. You can use fresh or frozen blackberries (again I used some I froze last year – or maybe even the year before!)
- Cook the fruit gently in ~750ml water until it has turned to mush
- Sterilise your muslin bag by putting it into boiling water for a few minutes
- Strain the fruit through the muslin bag into a large bowl overnight. Don’t be tempted to squash the fruit to speed this up or you’ll end up with cloudy jelly
- The following day, pop a saucer in the fridge so you can test your jelly for a setting point. Sterilise your jars by popping them into an oven heated to 100 degrees. Measure how much juice you have and then bring to a boil in a heavy bottomed pan. Once boiling add ~600g jam sugar to 1 litre of juice and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon juice. Then boil rapidly for 10-20 minutes until setting point has been reached (pop a teaspoonful of jelly onto your cold saucer – if it wrinkles up when you push a finger into it as it cools it is there).
- Turn the heat off and pour into the sterilised jars immediately. Pop a waxed circle on top and screw lids on tightly. Once cool (and hopefully set) label and enjoy!
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