- Yield : 4-6 jam jars
- Prep Time : 5m
- Cook Time : 20m
- Ready In : 9:000 h
This is such an amazing year for berries in the UK and I have never seen so many sloe berries and could not resist picking them. I also came back from a country walk recently with a bagful of blackberries, elderberries and sloes and so decided to make a sweet hedgerow jelly. It is really delicious and I now have something lovely to put on bread, toast, my oat porridge in the morning or into a helping of more berries and yoghurt.
While boiling to the setting point you do need to be careful not to let it get too thick. I actually put my jelly into jam jars thinking it was too runny, but it thickened up overnight, so allow for that. A runnier jelly is better than one that’s too thick.
Glass jam jars should be clean and can be sterilized by placing in a warm-hot oven.
To test the setting point of the jelly first put a clean saucer in the fridge.
- 1 kg cooking apples (or crab apples) cut into chunks (no peeling or coring required)
- 1 kg blackberries, elderberries and sloe berries, washed gently
- Sugar (450g per 600ml of juice)
Place the apples and berries into a preserving pan (or saucepan if using a smaller quantity of fruit). Add sufficient water to virtually cover the fruit. Bring to a simmer and leave to cook until the fruit has turned pulpy and soft.
Put the fruit pulp into a jelly bag or line a sieve with cheesecloth (muslin) and leave to drip over a large bowl for 8-10 hours or overnight.
Measure the quantity of juice and add the relevant quantity of sugar. Put into the clean preserving pan or saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Leave to boil for 8 minutes, then turn off the heat.
Place a little of the jelly onto the cold saucer and put it into the fridge for 2 minutes. Take the saucer out again and gently push the surface of the jelly with your fingertip. If it wrinkles it has reached its setting point, if not turn the heat back on and bring the juice back to a rolling boil for 2 or 3 minutes and retest.
When your jelly has reached its setting point, pour it into the sterilized jars and seal straight away. Leave to cool and then store in a cool, dark place. It should keep for about a year if you don’t eat it all (mine won’t!). Refrigerate the jars after opening.