Hi, I'm Theresa Storey and I run The Green Apron Artisan Preserve and Tea Company and write and blog and garden and teach and.....

Autumn Jellies

hedgrow berries

Make hay while the sun shines , or in our case jelly. Its time to get out there and pick whatever berries and fruit you can before the rain destroys them, and turn them into gorgeous jewel coloured homemade jellies. Last week we spent Friday morning picking our way along the neighbour’s hedge and ended up making Wild Crabapple Jelly, Wild Damson Jelly and a Hedgerow Jelly.Yumm!

Jelly is basically a jam with all the bits taken out. Our basic jelly recipe is fairly straightforward.

appple jelly

 Apple Jelly

Fill a pot 3/4 full of  apples cut into quarter(dont peel or core them)

Add enough water to just cover the apples

cook for about 45 minutes until the apples have gone to mush

put in a jelly bag and leave to drain above a bowl for at least an hour if not overnight

measure the resulting  juice and put it back into a pot with 1 pound of sugar for every pint of juice. (The juice will be cloudy but adding the sugar and heating will clear it)

Cook up until it reaches setting point ( see rhubarb jam recipe) and skim off any sugar foam floating on top.

pour jelly into pots and lid. You can add a few cloves to each pot  or  a pinch of cinnamon .

  Tip: Buy a jelly bag, They are fairly inexpensive and give a  clearer jelly However if you are stuck without one use many layers of cheesecloth or sacrifice a pillowcase to strain the jelly juice from the pulp.

The main apples we use are cooking apples ( mostly bramley seedling). When we can get them we use windfalls from any apples  both cookers and eaters . The smaller and greener the better for the most  pectin. Each variety of apple produces a different flavoured jelly and some colour variation. When making crabapple jelly we add some cooking apples to the pot of crabapples as we find pure crabapple jelly a bit too sour for most tastes.

So just adapt the basic apple recipe for other jellies

Okay now you have the basic recipe/method.  Apples have a great deal of natural pectin (which is what sets the jelly) and when you mix them up with other berries the apples pectin makes up for the lack in other berries (blackberries and elderberries especially are low in pectin). Thus you don’t need to use jam sugar or any other artificial setting agent.

Damson Jelly

recipe as above but 1/3 damson 2/3 apple

Hedgerow Jelly

We found some early elderberries and added some haws ,blackberries crabs and damsons  to the pot . An equal amount of windfall apples was then added and then the whole lot cooked up as above.

hedgerow berriesberries cooked up jelly drainingjelly ready to be poured

Blackberry, Elderberry, Hawthorn, Rosehip and Rowanberry Jelly are made the same as Damson Jelly.



2 comments to Autumn Jellies

  • Hi

    Here in the South west of France we have beautiful wild plums that make an amazing jelly – but even more amazing if you pop a small bunch of lavender in some muslin and hang it over the boiling fruit for ten minutes or so. The result? Wild Plum and Lavender Jelly that is SO special – either with ice cream or simply on toast or scones – and makes a wonderful gift. It will undoubtedly be just as gorgeous with British damsons.

  • Just spotted your blog on Magicmum – have to say it’s a fantastic catalogue of lovely recipes. Wish I was a better cook – but you make it look so easy!! I’m drooling over some of these recipes – especially chicken liver pate, apple cake and lemon scones! TFS

    Lainey 🙂

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