I am fortunate enough to have two large apple trees in my garden which produce amazing Bramley cooking apples. The only problem is there are so many of them and there are only so many apple crumbles you can make.
So last year I bought a gadget that helped with my glut of apples, a jelly strainer. Sometimes when you buy a gadget, it never sees the light of day, but occasionally there is one that works and makes life a lot easier and my jelly strainer was a winner. The reason being is that you don’t have to peel or core your apples, something I actually hate doing (lazy I know), you literally just cut them up, pips and all, put them in a pan with some water, let them boil until very soft and then tip into the strainer and let the juice drip though.
You can then make all kinds of apple jellies, for example, chilli apple jelly, mint apple jelly, spiced apple jelly, the list goes on. They are delicious with cheese or meat, such as chicken or pork, and make lovely gifts too if you make the jars look pretty. If you don’t have access to apples like I do, just have a run through a country village sometime, as many people who end up with too many apples to deal with, often leave a basket on their front for people to take. So not excuse.
Here is a simple apple jelly recipe:
Wash 900g apples and cut into 2” chunks. There is no need to peel or core. Put in a large pan and pour over 600ml water and cook until very soft. Transfer the pureed apple to a jelly bag and let the juice drip through (or you can drip it through some muslin). This can take a few hours, so don’t rush it. Do not be tempted to poke the apples as this will cloud your jelly. When as much juice has been accumulated, measure it out and put into a pan. Add three quarters weight of sugar to the volume of juice, so, for example, if you have 600ml of juice, add 450g sugar. You can add your flavour at this stage, ie. chilli flakes or dried mint etc. Heat slowly until the sugar is dissolved. Turn up the heat and boil until the apple jelly has reached setting point (between 104º and 105ºC). In the meantime sterilise your jars so that they are ready. Once your jelly has reached setting point, allow to cool slightly, and then transfer to your sterilised jars and seal.