photography & recipe: The Creative Minds
Bramble & Apple Jelly
2 kg wild brambles (blackberries)
½ kg green apples
about 1 ½ kg sugar
a little vanilla essence if desired
Gently wash the brambles in a basin of water and pick out the floating bits. Pour out the water and place the brambles in a pot. Wash and core (do not peel) the apples then chop them into 10mm slices and add to the brambles. Add around 50mm of cold water to the bottom of the pot and place it on a medium ring.
When the water has started to boil through the fruit reduce the heat to a good simmer and stir occasionally. Continue simmering for around 20 minutes or until all the brambles and apples have softened into a lovely deep red goo. At this point it may help to squeeze the mix very gently against the side of the pot with a large spoon as this can release extra juice from the brambles.
Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly then pour it into a jelly bag suspended above a large bowl to catch the juice. This should be left to drip for a few hours or even overnight.
Weigh the juice then pour it into a pot and bring it to the boil. (Note you may wish to use only a portion of the juice to make jelly and freeze the rest for later. See * below. Add the sugar to the pot using same amount sugar as juice in weight, stir it gently to combine. It is not necessary to use jam sugar as the green apples contain pectin, the same ingredient as in jam sugar. Bring the pot back to a fairly active boil and stir it occasionally. Continue to boil for about 15 minutes, then test the jelly.
Place an ice cube in a shallow bowl and on top of a piece of kitchen roll to prevent it slipping about. Dip a soup spoon into the boiling jelly then remove it with only a skin of jelly on the spoon. Place the spoon on the ice cube and with the handle resting on the rim of the bowl. This cools the spoon quickly and if the jelly is ready there should be fairly stiff film on the surface of the spoon.
When the jelly is ready remove it from the heat and let it stand for a few minutes then pour it into sterilised jars. As soon as the jars are cool cover the surface of the jelly with a generous layer of cling film tucked well into the sides of the jar then seal the lid.
The jelly will stay fresh in the fridge for a few months but the jelly also freezes very well if you wish to keep it for use over the winter.