Mint from the Herb Garden
~ Apple and Mint Jelly ~
This jelly has been entered into Susan’s Home-Made and Well Preserved challenge over at her blog:
Thanks so much for all of your supportive comments yesterday, my catering went very smoothly and everyone was extremely happy! I made Chicken, Chickpea and Apricot Tagine with Spiced Couscous and Cumin Scented Roast Vegetables followed by Almond and Orange Flower Water Baked Sponge Pudding for twenty people. I worked most of the day with the odd tweet (tweet as in twitter and NOT treat!) now and then and also imbibed in the cook’s privilege of the odd tipple ~ I find I am more “creative” with a wine in my cheffy hands ~ don’t you?
I will feature this recipe (Chicken, Chickpea and Apricot Tagine) on my blog one day soon……..however, I DID leave you with a taste of what was to come yesterday, and that was fruity, glowing jellies ~ made with Autumn fruits, and now all labled and ready to store away for a drear dark day in the midst of Winter……all bursting with the very essence of my orchard and herb garden.
This is my lovely Apple and Mint Jelly, made with crab apples and windfalls, and such a pretty rosy colour with dark green flecks of mint suspended in it. I also made Quince Jelly too ~ as some of you will remember from the photos, but that is for another day…..I don’t want to over gild the jelly today. The crab apples add that wonderful pink hue to the jelly and this is a wee belter when served with lamb and game, as well as with a cheeseboard. I also like it as a glaze on meats and posh open apple tarts, the mint adding a fresh note to the overall sweetness.
This jelly is an Autumn breeze to make and any other herbs can be added in place of mint, such as rosemary, lavender, sage and thyme. I wanted to use some of my more straggly mint plants for this, so mint it was on the day. Use a mixture of apples as I did and not just cooking apples. These will obviously make great gifts for food orientated friends and for Christmas, just add a few decorative embellishments on and about the jar. I am nearly at the end of preserving now, just a few more quince recipes to develop and test and then maybe a pear liqueur to make and drink lay down for the festive period……all to follow here soon.
I used 1.5 kilos (about 3lbs) of apples, and the yield was 3 half pound pots, which is quite good…….I will post the quantities that I used here as a guide, but it really is all down to how much juice is extracted overnight to how many pots you will make……but the formula remains the same, to every 1 pint (600ml) of juice, you need 1lb sugar (450g). I leave the choice of herbs and apples in your capable hands, but I do love the combination of crab apples, Bramleys and Braeburns with the mint as I made here.
Apple and Mint Jelly
1.5 kilos (3lb) Mixed apples, such as crab apples, Coxes, Braeburns and Bramley apples
Large bunch fresh mint
600ml (1 pint) cider apple vinegar
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1. Put the apples in a heavy-based pan with enough water to cover them. Add a large bunch of mint and then bring to the boil and simmer until the apples are soft ~ about 30 to 45 minutes depending on type of apples.
2. Add the cider apple vinegar and cook for a further 5 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat, put the contents of the pan into a jelly bag and allow to drip into another container overnight.
4. Measure the liquid and put in a pan with sugar, allowing 450g (1lb) sugar to 600ml (1 pint) liquid.
5. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and then boil briskly until setting point. (Remove any scum at this point)
6. Turn off the heat and cool slightly before stirring in the freshly chopped mint.
7. Pot into small cooled, sterilised jars, cover and label. Store in a dark, cool and dry place.