Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Grape and Gooseberry Jelly

1kg red grapes
6 dessert apples
1.5kg garden fruits (mine were gooseberry, redcurrants and loganberries)

Chop each apple into 8 pieces and place grapes and in a large pan garden fruits. Add enough water to cover fruit leaving 1 inch headspace at the top of the pan. Bring to boil and simmer gently for 2-3 hours. Gently mash fruit after the first hour. Because we are making a jelly we need to ensure we have all the flavour and pectin out of the fruit.

Strain mixture through fine muslin or screen overnight. This should make around 2.5 litres of juice to which we need to add 2.5 kg of sugar. When making jelly the sugar is always equal to the amount of juice. Place in a large Maslin pan and bring to a rolling boil stirring regularly; it may take some time...you cannot leave it unattended. Set a rolling boil (see pic below) and after around 10 minutes check the temperature is at 105 Celsius / 240 Fahrenheit. Test a small amount on a refrigerated plate. Blow to cool and push your finger nail into it. If it wrinkles on the surface you have the set. Switch off the heat; do not be tempted to over boil just to be sure. Decant into clean, heated jars, place waxed paper on the top and seal. Label jars when cool.

TIP - You’ll notice a lot of foam during boiling (see pic below.) Remove this before bottling. I wait until I take it off the heat and the mixture stops bubbling. Try not to lose too much of the jam during this process. Hot jam is hotter than water...be very careful when handling during bottling.