Apple & Elderberry Jelly
This weeks Weekly Photo Challenge is: Achievement & this is what they said:
Have you just run 26.2 miles, finished a long-term project, or met a personal goal? This week, show us an achievement.
Though you may laugh and also think this not one of my best shots or even one relevant to depict achievement, I can assure you that for me, the photo immediately below displays firmly and thoroughly an achievement for moi in a very big way!
Why does this depict achievement for me?
Two years ago I discovered foraging and with this chutney, pickle, jam and jelly making.
Now, chutneys and pickles I can do, bingo, interesting, fun and usually fairly easy to make.
I also enjoy the foraging part. The part that some might say ardious is quite therapeutic, ie sifting all the green elderberries from the red ones etc, it can take hours but that’s all good.
Tadah….drum roll……however, when we get to the “oh good the pulp has now seived and shrek has not thrown the juice away like he has done in the past and wasted hours and hours of work, I can remain sane”, I am left with something to now work with and boil up to make either jelly or jam.
This is where I come unstuck, go grey and pull my hair out plus gain the odd burn here and there.
I thought browsing through the Lakeland brochure would help me. Yep, buy all the gear, industrial size. I have the gigantic pots my 8 year old could hide in, I have some plastic contraption that has to be assembled to seive the fruit pulp, it’s so huge one gets vertigo looking down the middle of it and I have thermometers and dutch courage!
But to put it simply, I need help & yup on funny quips there please!
I just do not get the whole boiling process. I know the bit about putting a plate in the freezer, or fridge, I’ve done this, numerous times, I am still finding frozen plates that I forgot. There never seems to be a skin that develops on the cooked liquid.
I don’t know whether it is how fast I boil it or length of time boiling, I really have no clue. I follow the instructions but it doesn’t seem to set, so I add some pectin or lemon, nope nada, so I carry on boiling in hope.
Now I have learn’t the painful way of boiling it too high and fast, it is like molten lava that comes out and spits you in the face, I respect the boiling pulp now, I have FEAR!!! LOL
My jelly has ended up sometimes like a cordial or my jam like a rubber ball that I cannot even get out of the jar.
I did have ‘some’ success with Apple and Elderberry Jelly. This is simply delicious and I use with meats. It is perhaps a little thicker than jelly consistency but works well for what I need it for.
However this is a fluke, I could not do it again.
Many an hour has been searching for hints and tips, googling and watching You Tube clips in the hope that I would have a eureka moment and find something that would put an end to my misery.
I did find the clip below which showed me something new, the shape of the boil, it rolling to the centre, now this is something I could look out for. This chap is making blackerry jam which is a little different but the concept I am sure the same, no?
Both myself and Shane Francescut, who has the blog, The Weekly Minute, who also told me he cannot make jams and jellies (and who by the way cajoled me to write this post) would love to have some helpful hints from all you fabulous preserve makers.
Here is the recipe, but you can find it directly from here: Elderberry and Apple Jelly
Elderberry and Apple Jelly
- 1.35kg cooking apples (this is good with windfalls)
- 2l elderberries, separated from their stalks with the tines of a fork
- peeled zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 375g sugar per 500ml liquid
Wash the apples thoroughly and remove any blemishes. Chop roughly and combine with the elderberries in a pan. Barely cover with cold water, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook to a pulp. Turn the mixture into a jelly bag and hang over a bowl to drain over night. Don’t be tempted to squeeze the bag or to press down on the contents, you will just end-up with a cloudy jelly. Allow to drip naturally. The following day, measure the juice and allow 375g sugar per 500ml liquid. Combine in a pan over moderate heat, stirring until dissolved. Add the orange zest and cinnamon then bring to a rapid boil. Measure for the setting point by placing a plate in the fridge. Spoon a little of the jelly onto the plate and when it forms a skin as you push it with your finger or the back of a spoon the gelling point has been reached. When ready allow the jelly to cool then remove the orange zest and cinnamon before pouring into clean, sterilized jars that have been warmed in a cool oven. Seal, label and store until needed. Ideally this jelly should have a soft consistency.
I have included what links I did find that had some useful preserve information, because I like to share 😀
Kilner – when things go wrong
Mums.net – preserving tips
British Food – how to sterilize when preserving
Recipes from the wild – medicinal benefits of using rosehips
Home cooking – rosehip recipes
So who of you out there can help please? Do you have any You Tube clips, fabulous ideas, anything that might make preserve making for myself and Shane a safer and more fruitful (scuse the pun), experience for next year?
I look forward to hearing from you.
© Justine Nagaur Eclecticoddsnsods.com