A delicious herb jelly, made in the traditional way, and a pleasant change from mint sauce to go with roast lamb.
The yield will depend on the ripeness of the fruit and the time allowed for dripping.
- Cooking apples - 2.3 kg (5 lb)
- Water - 1.1 litres (2 pints)
- Fresh mint - a few large sprigs plus 6-8 tbsp chopped
- Distilled malt vinegar - 1.1 litres (2 pints)
- Green food colouring - a few drops
- Remove any bruised or damaged portions from the apples and roughly chop them into thick chunks without peeling or coring. Put them in a preserving pan with the water and the mint sprigs. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 45 minutes, until the fruit is soft and pulpy. Stir from time to time to prevent sticking. Add the vinegar and boil for a further 5 minutes.
- Spoon the apple pulp into a jelly bag or cloth attached to the legs of an upturned stool, and leave to strain into a large bowl for at least 12 hours. Do not squeeze.
- Discard the pulp remaining in the jelly bag. Measure the extract and return it to the pan with 450g (1 lb) sugar for each 600 ml (1 pint) extract.
- Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, then boil rapidly for about 10 minutes. Test for a set and, when the setting point is reached, remove the pan from the heat. Skim the surface with a slotted spoon
- Stir in the chopped mint and add a few drops of green food colouring. Allow to cool slightly, then stir well to distribute the mint. Pot and cover the jelly.
Other fresh herbs such as rosemary, parsley, sage and thyme can be used equally as well as mint. Serve these herb jellies with roast meats - rosemary jelly with lamb; parsley jelly with gammon; sage jelly with pork; and thyme jelly with poultry.