Hello again. I hope you are keeping well. Are you beginning to feel Christmassy yet? We’ve had some snowfall here, not very much but it certainly feels like winter is upon us.
I haven’t had much time for making preserves this year and most of my harvested garden produce is still buried deep in the freezer waiting for me to get cooking. However, I did find some time a few days ago to make one of my favourites. I love the combination of sweet and smoke with a hint of chilli spice in this savoury jelly. It’s one of those preserves that goes with lots of things and makes a great gift for a food lover. It’s also ready to eat immediately or will store for up to a year.
You might want to scale back the recipe to make a smaller quantity but I wanted a few jars for myself as well as a couple to give away. Add more chillies for a spicy-hot jelly or use hot smoked paprika instead.
Makes: approx. 1.4kg
- Approx. 1.5kg cooking apples, washed and left whole
- Approx. 750g red (bell) peppers or capsicum, washed and stalks removed
- 50-100g red chillies, washed and stalks removed
- 6-8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 large sprigs of fresh sage
- 5 bay leaves
- approx. 1.1kg granulated white sugar
- 175ml cider vinegar
- 2tsp smoked paprika
- 1½tsp salt
- 1-2tsp dried chilli flakes
1. Chop the apples and place in a large preserving pan – seeds, core, skin, everything. Do the same with the peppers and chillies, then add to the pan along with the garlic, sage and bay leaves.
2. Pour over 1.7l water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes, mashing with a spoon occasionally, until everything is soft and pulpy. Leave to cool for 30 minutes.
3. Carefully ladle the pulp into a jelly bag suspended over a bowl and leave in a cool place to drip over night. Discard the pulp and measure the juice.
4. Pour the juice into a clean preserving pan and heat until hot. Add 450g sugar for every 650ml juice collected – I had 1.6l juice and added 1.1kg sugar. Pour in the vinegar and stir until the sugar dissolves, then raise the heat and boil rapidly until setting point is reached – 105°C on a sugar thermometer. Turn off the heat and stir in the salt, paprika and chillies. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
4. Stir the jelly mixture and ladle into sterilized jam jars. Seal tightly while hot, then leave to cool before labelling. Store in a cool, dry, dark cupboard for up to 1 year.
That’s me for another week. One more recipe post before the holidays. I’ll see you again in a few days. All the best until then 🙂