Something from nothing

Lush colours

The long summer over and at last I had got to the Cotswold weekend walk that had been planned back in late spring. It lived up to its promise with endless sunshine days, generous rolling hilltop views, steep lush valleys. As we walked along the valley bottom pheasants scattered, running for cover in the wood side undergrowth. The hedges were ripe, perfect for foraging. With several miles more to walk we couldn’t resist the glossy blackberries, grazing done we picked enough for a couple of pies. As we climbed the last hill fat drops of juice started to ooze from the bag and I realised my precious cargo was no longer up to pie making.

Home, straight into the simple old fashioned imprecise recipe for delicious apple and blackberry jelly, with the now slightly squashed blackberries and chopped windfall apples cores and all.

Put about 2lb of prepared fruit in a large pan and pour in enough water to come just below the surface of the fruit. Bring the pan to the boil then lower the heat to a gentle mutter. Cook ‘til the apples collapse when pressed with a spoon against the side of the pan.

Once cooled put the pulp into a jelly bag and leave hanging over a bowl for about 12 hours ‘til all the juice has dripped through. Measure the juice into a large pan adding 1lb of granulated sugar for each pint.

Heat slowly til the sugar is dissolved then boil to reduce. For sparkly clear jelly regularly skim the scum that rises to the surface. When setting point is reached leave to cool for 5 mins before pouring into small clean warmed jars and seal.

Perfect for a tea time treat

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