We love a bit of foraging so when autumn comes we are in our element! This jelly is a great way to use up all the crab apples from the tree in my garden, but you can also find lots of wild crabapples in hedgerows so get exploring. Failing that, befriend someone with an orchard! Rosehips also can be found in hedgerows, pick when ruby red.
You can make many variations of apple jelly with this recipe, try versions using fresh ginger root or blackberries, whatever you find when exploring.
We especially love this jelly served with a cheeseboard!!
Foraged crab apples and rosehips -
enough to half fill a large jam pan.
1kg granulated sugar
1.5 ltr water
Chuck the whole crab apples in the pan, discarding any leaves or sneaky bugs! Whizz up the rosehips in a food processor till roughly chopped then add to the pan. Top up with the water so they are just nicely covered then bring to the boil. Simmer for around 45 minutes until everything is a big soft mush, I like to give it a good squish up with a potato masher every so often as it simmers to help it along! Leave in the pan to cool. Once cooled pour into a jelly bag or muslin over a bowl and leave to strain overnight.
The next day take your lovely juice and pop back in the jam pan with the sugar, slowly bring to a boil and make sure all the sugar has dissolved, then boil rapidly, stirring often until a set is reached. This usually takes around 45 minutes on my hob and I use the wrinkle test to be sure - pop a plate in the freezer for a few minutes, add a spoonful of jam then pop back in the freezer for 30 seconds. Run your finger through the jam and if it wrinkles it’s ready, otherwise try again in 5 minutes.
Pot the jam into hot sterilised jars and leave to cool. Et voila! Spread on some toast, use like a chutney or add a dash to the gravy for a fruity Sunday roast!