In the garden everything is coming to a head and we have a veritable feast available to us in the vegetable garden.
Down in the orchard the plums have finished but the apples and pears are now almost ready for picking. After we've had our fill of pies and crumbles my favourite thing to make with our surplus of apples is this........
Recipe For Apple Chilli Jelly
• 1.5 kilos of cooking apples (windfalls are fine for this recipe). Washed, chopped roughly - no need to peel or core
• 2 pts/1140ml of water to cover the apples
• Grated rind and juice of one small lemon
• White granulated sugar (the amount depends on the volume of juice extracted from the simmered, drained fruit. Ipt/570ml of juice to 1lb/454gms of sugar
• 2 medium hot red chillies and one Bird’s Eye hot red chilli. Chopped with seeds left in.
1. Put the chopped apples into a large saucepan with the 2 medium hot red chillies and the Bird’s eye chilli.
2. Carefully grate the lemon zest from the lemon. Add to saucepan.
3. Add the water and bring gently to the boil and simmer very gently until all the fruit is soft and mushy (roughly 25 minutes, depending upon how ripe the fruit is).
4. Pour the cooked fruit through sterilised muslin or a jelly bag. The bag is covered with a clean tea cloth to protect against flies, as the jelly bag generally drips overnight.
5. Measure the apple and chilli juice the next day and pour it into a deep heavy bottomed saucepan. Add 454g/1lb of white granulated sugar for each 570ml/1 pt of juice.
6. Add the juice of the lemon.
7. Heat the juice and sugar gently, stirring from time to time. Make sure that that all the sugar has dissolved before bringing the liquid slowly to the boil. Continue to boil for about five minutes before testing for a set. Toss in a nugget of butter towards the end to reduce the frothing that often occurs.
8. When jelly has reached setting point pour into warm sterilised jars using a funnel and ladle.
9. Cover immediately with plastic lined screw top lids or cellophane tops secured with a rubber band. If you want extra heat stir in some finally chopped red birds eye chillies into each jar (no seeds).
Label when cold and store in a cool, dark place. Away from damp.
3.5 pints of juice makes approx 7 pound jars of jelly.
It is absolutely delicious with oatcakes and cheese, especially my favourite - Wensleydale!
I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.