Apple, mint and rosemary jelly

For years, I’ve been wanting to pick the fruit of wild apple trees and make cider. I finally found some trees this week and picked over 7kg worth. I juiced the good fruit for the cider. I will make pork and apple patties from the juice pulp and serve them with a fennel and celeriac slaw. But the cores and dodgy pieces went into the jam pot, to make this wonderful apple, mint and rosemary jelly. It is wonderful with roast pork or lamb. I suddenly have a craving to have a spoonful with a lamb cutlet. It’s a fabulous way to get the absolute most out of your groceries, harvest or foraging haul. I did a massive batch of this, so I’ve written the recipe out for half what I made, but it’s easily adaptable to the volume you have.

3 kilograms apple cores and scraps
2 sprigs rosemary
1 bunch mint
½ cup (approx.) apple cider vinegar
600 grams (approx.) sugar

Place the cores, skins and scraps of apples in a saucepan. Add the herbs to the pan. Cover them with water and simmer till tender.

Line a colander with a layer of fabric and place it over a saucepan or bowl. Tip the apple and liquid into the fabric lined colander and leave to drain naturally overnight. Do not squeeze or press the fruit.

In the morning, compost the fruit pulp and measure the volume of the liquid. Add half a cup of apple cider vinegar and 600 grams of sugar for each litre of liquid. Bring to the boil. Remove any scum that appears on the surface. When the liquid has reached setting point, pour it into sterilised glass jars. If you’d like, you can add a shoot of rosemary and a short sprig of fresh mint to each jar. Screw on the lids and leave to cool.

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