Hello there. I hope you are keeping well. It’s that time of year when I get the jam pan out and start making preserves and chutneys for the months ahead.
Back in August I harvested a lot of salal berries from the garden. I did compote a few but the rest went in the freezer for making preserves. There are still a few on the bushes now but I am leaving those for the garden birds to enjoy.
I haven’t picked all the apples yet, but I have been taking one or two as and when I need them for cooking. The old tree in the garden is looking heavy with fruit this year, so I think I will be gathering in the apples very soon.
My recipe is a very simple jelly preserve. If you don’t have salal berries, blueberries or blackberries will work just as well. Salal berries can be quite challenging to pick as they are quite squishy when ripe so I usually pick short branches and then remove the berries when I get back into the kitchen. Have a look at this post from last year for an easy preparation technique Salal berries – jam and muffins (gluten-free; dairy-free; vegan)
The recipe below makes a small quantity of preserve and as such can be easily doubled or trebled should you have more berries and apples. Making a smaller amount means that you can strain the fruit through a sieve rather than in a jelly bag; it is quicker to strain, and it also cooks down in less time.
Makes: approx. 650g
- 200g prepared salal berries, washed
- 400g cooking apples, washed and chopped, but left unpeeled or cored
- approx. 450g granulated or preserving sugar
1. Put the fruit in a large saucepan with 350ml water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until soft and pulpy. Mash the fruit occasionally to help break it down.
2. Place a large sieve over a jug or bowl and line with clean muslin. Carefully ladle in the pulp and leave to strain for 3-4 hours.
3. Put the pulp back in a saucepan and the harvested juice in the fridge. Re-cook the pulp, this time with 200ml water, for about 5 minutes, and then strain again as above.
4. Measure the juice and pour into a large clean saucepan. Add sugar to the ratio of 450g per 600ml juice – I had 575ml juice and added 430g sugar.
5. Heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, then raise the heat and bring to the boil. Cook rapidly until the temperature reaches between 104°C and 105°C – this will probably take around 10 minutes.
6. Pour into small, clean, sterilised jars and seal immediately. When cold, label and store for 6-12 months, although the jelly is ready to eat immediately. Serve with cold cuts, cheeses or as a sweet spread on toast or crackers.
Well that’s the end of my post for this week. I will be back in the kitchen again next time. Until then, I hope you have a good few days ahead 🙂