Mint jelly



Ingredients

1 kg Granny smith apples
500 ml water
½ bunch mint, washed and chopped with the stalks
1 cup cider vinegar
white sugar
Method:

1. roughly chop the apples; leave the skin on and do not core.

2. Place the apples, water and mint in a saucepan over medium heat and cook gently until the apples are soft and pulpy, about 20 minutes.

3. add the vinegar, remove the pan from the heat and mash the apples with a potato masher.

4. set up a pot with a colander or large strainer lined with muslin cloth sitting on top. Pour the apple mixture into the cloth-lined strainer and leave to drain overnightdo not squeeze the mixture unless a cloudy jelly doesn’t worry you.

5. Measure the strained juice and pour into a saucepan then add an equal quantity of sugar. Place the pan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil and use a spoon to remove any scum forming on the surface. simmer for 15 minutes or until the temperature reaches 103105ºc on a sugar thermometer.

6. Pour into 4 x 300-ml hot sterilised jars, and allow to cool before sealing. The jelly will continue to set over a few days. keeps in a cool dry place for 1 year. once opened, refrigerate.

HINTS AND TIPS:

* You will needcutting board, cook’s knife, saucepan, cup, weight and liquid measures, potato masher, wooden spoon, colander, muslin cloth, 4 x 300-ml preserving jars and lids and sugar thermometer.

* It’s important to understand that homemade mint jelly does not look like the commercially prepared stuff.
Homemade is more of a golden amber colour, not bright green. Bright green can be achieved by adding a few drops of green food colouring and 1 teaspoon dried mint to give that ‘real’ mint effect to the jelly.

* There is never any need to peel or core fruit such as apples when making a jelly, this adds to the flavour and helps to make the jelly set. See Basic preserving.

* Although the sugar and vinegar preserve the jelly, the biggest risk is mould. Keeping the jelly at room
temperature for 1 year can be done, but if this makes you nervous, then store it in the refrigerator. Once
opened, all preserves must be refrigerated.

* Several things may have an effect on the jelly not setting.

1. Not enough pectin in the fruittart apples, like Granny Smiths, are required due to the higher amount of pectin than sweet eating apples.
2. The amount of sugarsugar helps the jelly set, therefore the ratio of sugar to liquid must be right.
3. Evaporationsimmering the liquid at the end needs to be done long enough so the required amount of water evaporates, leaving the right proportion of sugar to liquid; this is why a sugar thermometer is used.

* Sometimes a jelly will not have set when everything seems to have gone right; to try to remedy this, bring back to the boil and add some cream of tartar or lemon juice.

* A clear jelly can only be achieved by the undisturbed straining of the fruit puree. Force it through and the jelly will be cloudy.

* A very firm jelly may ‘weep’, sometimes seen in homemade jams and jellies given out by relatives. This weeping is a result of too much acid being added to the mixture

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