Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Exploration into making rowan jelly

Every now and then I've attempted making jam with varying success. I started with strawberry jam about six or seven years ago. It was a complete failure as far as jam goes - it did not set. But it tasted delicious so I've persevered with jam making. 

Purchase of jam thermometer has meant that my results have been a bit more consistent since. Apart from raspberry and blackberry jam last summer, from the excess produce of allotment last year, which turned out the consistency of tar...very sticky...but again very tasty. The glut of Victoria plums got turned into jam very successfully and it is young sir's favourite.

Thankfully my sample audience is young sir and my amazing hubby rather than Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood and their the response to even the worst kitchen disaster is very positive and encouraging. I am yet to burn anything beyond their ability to consume it.

The dreamer in me likes the idea of being self sufficient with home grown vegetables galore and few chickens wandering around in the garden etc. Since getting the allotment, the dreamer has come to the conclusion that self sufficiency would be far too much hard work (however much fun it looked like in the good life) and I am happy just pottering on and growing few vegetables for fun - which is just as well as my crop can be counted with the fingers of a single hand this year!

We went for a walk on Sunday and I spotted lots of lovely looking rowan berries. The dreamer in me resurfaced and thought how wonderful it would be to make rowan jelly. I've never made jelly in my life. I have never actually even tasted rowan jelly before. Undeterred I went back the following morning and picked a whole bag of rowan berries, came home, googled rowan jelly, found a recipe and gave it ago...

First I de-stalked the berries, put them in a sauce pan with (supposedly) same weight of apples (I didn't have enough so I cheated and added some shop bought pectin), just cover with water and simmer away for 20-30 minutes. 

The result is mushy berries that you leave to strain overnight (or at least four hours). All the recipes I saw forbid very explicitly trying to squeeze the juice out as it would make the jelly cloudy...

You measure out your liquid and for each pint (600ml) you use a pound of sugar (500gr)

Warm the sugar up in the oven at 110c for 10-15 minutes

Add the warmed sugar to the juice and stir on low heat until the sugar has all dissolved and then boil until setting point is reached, skim of any scum and put in sterilised jars.

And finally look at your pretty jars and feel very content with your efforts.

Young sir scraped the bowl when he got home from school and loved it. He wants it with his toast in the morning. Who am I to tell him that it is supposed to be eaten with game and most people consider it too sour to have for breakfast ;)


Anonymous said...

Am very impressed with this jam thing you have going on!!! and the baking Im totally off it at the moment!!! France looked good will be in touch!!! Nik

The Lindseys said...

I was surprised how well it turned out - had it with some meatballs last night and it was yummee. Hope your travels go well x