Several months ago, my mum put a condiment on the dinner table which was gorgeous. It was an apple and mint jelly. Was it for pork, was it for lamb? Did it matter? I'm vegetarian so whatever it was originally meant for was never going to be something that I would consume. Nonetheless it was delicious with salads and baby boiled new potatoes smothered in butter and black pepper.
I've tried to find it, to no avail. Then when the 'chutney chums' (i.e. The Crazy Kitchen, me and Mummy Mishaps) started talking about all things preserving a few weeks ago, I thought I'd give it a go.
Apple and Mint Jelly
Makes: 2 jam jars
- 1kg apples, peeled and cored
- 1 litre water
- 30g fresh mint, chopped
- 500g caster sugar
- Add the apples and 2 tablespoons of water to a large saucepan, cook for twenty minutes over low to medium heat. Spoon the mixture into a large sieve with a sterilised muslin (I used one of The Boy's unused muslins sterilised with a steaming hot iron) and let the juice drain into a bowl. (Try to leave for 3 hours, I didn't have that amount of time so I left it for 2 hours).
- Add the mint and 1 litre of water to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Pour in the strained apple juice and add sugar. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and and simmer gently for 1 hour+, stirring constantly. (The original recipe said 40 minutes, I ended up simmering it away for an hour and a half before it reached setting point).
- Pour into sterilized jars, cover with damp cellophane covers (which will tighten as they dry, creating an air-tight seal) and leave to cool. Store in a dark, cool cupboard. They should have a best before of a year from sealing.
The big question of what to do with all that left over apple arose. So I made some Spiced Apple Chutney!
Makes 2 jam jars
- 225g onions (chopped)
- 900g apples (cored & chopped)
- 110g sultanas or raisins
- 15g ground coriander
- 15g paprika
- 15g salt
- 15g each of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
- 340 granulated sugar
- 425ml white wine vinegar
- Put all the ingredients into a heavy pan.
- Slowly bring to the boil until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Simmer for 1½-2 hours, stirring from time-time to stop the chutney from sticking.
- Take the lid off to reduce down for further thirty minutes or so.
- When it is very thick and a spoon drawn across it leaves a channel which doesn't immediately fill with liquid, the chutney is ready to transfer to the jars.
- While still hot, turn into sterilised jars, use wax discs and damp cellophane to seal. Allow to cool.
- Store in a cool, dark cupboard for two-three months before eating. Can be kept for up to twelve months sealed.
I adapted this recipe from one on the BBC Good Food Guide.
- Sterilise jars and utensils in the dishwasher.
- Use wax discs and cellophane film lids as lids from jars can corrode effecting the chutney. Also it has to be put in piping hot for the dimple on the lid to suction down or it's not sterile.
- Sterilise the muslin with a hot iron.
- When fastening the fabric cover, hold it in place with an elastic band first. If you are one of those genetically-modified humans who have four hands, and can therefore hold the fabric in place and wrap the raffia around, don't bother, you'll be fine. Once the raffia is wrapped around, remove the elastic band.