My very first attempt at making jelly. If you’re also a newbie, buy a jelly bag. It will need to hang over a bowl for the juices to drip, so prepare a butcher’s hook and make sure your kitchen cupboard door handle is strong enough: I lost a pint of vinegary liquid, it stinks… Or get a fancy jelly bag holder.

Ingredients:
1 kg cooking apples, 500 ml water, 500 ml cider vinegar, 1 lb sugar per pint of juice, chillies (I used about 16 and it was still mild).

First:
In a large pan: chopped apples (including skin and pips for pectin), 500 ml of water, 500 vinegar and 8 chopped chillies. Boil for a couple of mins then simmer for 15 mins. Let it cool a bit.
Kids hated the vinegar smell that invaded the house…
Pour the juice through the jelly bag (do not force or the jelly will be cloudy) and leave to drip overnight.

Next morning:
Prepare 1 lb of sugar per pint of juice. Heat juice on low heat in high sided pan, add the sugar on high heat for 10 minutes for sugar to dissolve. (I kept turning for fear of burning but have read since that you shouldn’t, so up to you). Before taking off the stove, add thinly sliced chillies (I took most of the seeds off), let the liquid cool down a bit and transfer into sterilised jars.

This made a sweet jelly and was not as hot as I thought it would be, next time I’ll put more… The Turtle Claw Chillies are very fruity and taste a bit like the long red sweet peppers you find in supermarkets (only much nicer, with a pleasant kick when you swallow and a typical clear nose afterwards). I also found a recipe with cider rather than vinegar and I’ll try that too being in Dorset and all.
If my guinea pigs like it, I’ll post it here too…

This is based on a recipe by the Chilli King. Check out their website for getting the setting point right (My freezer’s in my garage so I didn’t bother!) and more stuff on chillies.

PS. Try this recipe at your peril, and taste the chillies you’re putting in your recipe before you make four jars of jelly… Have fun, we loved it with lamb, cheese and charcuterie. My son loved it on its own, it’s really quite sweet (the jelly not my teenager).

 

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