Apple and Rosemary Jelly

  • Yield : 3 medium jars
  • Prep Time : 25m
  • Cook Time : 8m
  • Ready In : 12:000 h

The recipe

Apple and Rosemary Jelly is a good way of using up any spare apples and the rosemary adds a subtle floral note to the flavour. You can spread the jelly on bread or toast, put it on the side of your plate with a pork or lamb dish or it can be used as a glaze to rub over meat before cooking. It could also be eaten with cheese or added to a stew or soup, used in a stir fry to enhance the sauce or added to a gravy.  The choice is yours.


  • 3 large cooking apples (about 1.4 kg) cut into large chunks (no peeling or coring required)
  • 800 ml water
  • 2½ tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped (or ½ tsp dried)
  • 4 tbsp cider vinegar
  • sugar (up to 450g per 600ml of juice – see note below)


Step 1

Place the apples into a large saucepan and add the water, cider vinegar and rosemary leaves. Bring to a simmer and leave to cook until the fruit has turned pulpy and soft. Tip into a jelly bag or line a sieve with cheesecloth (muslin) and leave to drip over a large bowl for several hours. You can squeeze out more juice through the muslin when it is cool.

Step 2

Glass jam jars should be clean and can be sterilized by placing in a warm-hot oven. To later test the setting point of the jelly, put a small saucer in the fridge.

Step 3

Measure the quantity of juice and add the relevant quantity of sugar. Put into a clean preserving pan or saucepan, bring to a rolling boil and leave to boil for 8 minutes then turn off the heat.

Step 4

Place a little of the jelly onto the cold saucer and put back 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. You may need to do this more than once, particularly if you are experimenting with the quantity of sugar.

Step 5

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. Refrigerate the jars after opening.

Step 6

Tip: The sugar is needed for the juice to reach a setting point, but if the pectin level in your fruit is high then you can experiment with the quantity of sugar used. As a guide, cooking apples are usually higher in pectin than some fruits and berries and so I was able to reduce the quantity of sugar to 350g per 600ml of juice (the yield from this recipe was 1.2 litres of juice). With further experimentation I may have been able to reduce the quantity of sugar a bit further.

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