I’ve just finished my first batch of summer jelly making.
Anyone following our Instagram feed will be aware of the hedgerow foraging in which I’ve been partaking over the past few weeks. The weeks of hot, sunny weather combined with some heavy downpours have made for a bumper wild fruit crop.
From the start of the wild raspberry season I was picking the fruit (I even managed to find a few white raspberries), rinsing them in a colander under the kitchen tap, freezing them… and then doing the same the next day, and the next, and the next until I had three 1-litre tubs full.
Jelly making day had arrived! I love the taste of raspberry preserve but I much prefer seedless jelly to jam.
I received this Tala jam straining kit, jelly bag replacement and wax discs from the nice people at the Craft Company. They have everything you could need to get started on your jam & jelly making odyssey!
Prior to having these, I was using a home-made contraption consisting of some muslin, a pair of chopsticks… it wasn’t a pretty sight!
The straining kit worked a treat. Simple to assemble and no mess and stains on the counter tops for a change!
I (loosely) followed a recipe I found in Cordon Bleu Preserving (it’s currently available at a penny!)
- 1.5 kg wild raspberries, rinsed & drained
- 1 kg jam sugar (as opposed to ‘normal’ granulated sugar it contains pectin to help with setting and citric acid as a preservative)
- 1 litre water
- Put the raspberries into a large jam/preserving pan with the water and cook gently on a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the fruit becomes a soft pulp
- While the raspberries are cooking, set up your straining kit and place it over another saucepan (see photo above)
- Carefully turn the cooked fruit out of the preserving pan into the jelly bag and allow to drip through overnight. Do not force it through as this turns the finished product cloudy
- Measure out the juice and add the jam sugar (the ratio is 1lb of sugar to every pint of juice or 500g to 600ml)
- Turn the sugar and juice back into the preserving pan and set on a low heat and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved
- Turn up the heat & boil rapidly until the jelly sets (see photo above). If you have a jam thermometer, the temperature should reach 104°C/220°F
- Decant into sterilised jars, cover each with a wax disc then screw the lid on once cooled
The quantity makes about 4½ jars-worth. Some for us and a couple of jars for presents.
We tucked in straight away with scones, clotted cream and a cup of tea each! We’ll be using the rest for morning toast & croissants. It will also make the perfect filling for a Victoria sponge.
The wild raspberry season round here is more or less done now but fat, juicy blackberries are just beginning to appear. I’ve already been stockpiling!