Saturday 16 October 2010

Apple glut II

I have two carrier bags full of apples, mostly cookers, waiting hopefully in the kitchen at present. That’s too much apple and rosewater sorbet for me to think about, so instead I’m going to make apple jellies.
Or at least, I’m going to think about making a few different apple jellies. What I’ll get going with straightaway is turning 10kg of apples into the apple juice that will form the base for the jelly. Once I have the basic juice it will keep in the fridge for a few days, or if I run seriously short of inspiration, it will freeze. Or I can make cider.
Apple jelly is particularly versatile: tasty enough to eat on its own as a spread or with meat, but also good to add flavour and consistency to gravy, and sauces, for deglazing the pan after cooking meats. With a high pectin content, it will help to set jellies whose main flavouring ingredient doesn’t contain pectin – chilli jelly, mint jelly, for example.
As well as an unadulterated apple jelly, which should set to a beautiful clear amber colour, I’d like a warm spiced version – perhaps with cloves and/or ginger, and in contrast something lighter, possibly floral. I have a recipe for apple and geranium jelly in The National Trust's book Jams, Preserves & Edible Gifts, by Sara Paston-Williams, and since I don’t have any geraniums, I wonder if the rest of that rosewater might do stand-in duty for the geraniums.
I also like the idea of adding a hint of thyme; rosemary appeals as well but I think it would be easy to make it rather overpowering.

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