Rowan Jelly

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Makes 5lb (2.3kg)
3 lb (1.4kg) rowan-berries
1 lb (450g) crab-apples or cooking apples
2 pints (1.1 litres) water granulated sugar

To the unsuspecting, rowan jelly will taste very astringent it’s a jelly that is traditionally served with venison and other game. The pretty clusters of rowan-berries are best picked in late autumn when they have full colour. They need some crab-apples or sour cooking apples to get a good set.

Trim stalks from rowan-berries and coarsely chop the apples, discarding any damaged parts. Put the fruit into a preserving pan and add the water (should be sufficient to cover). Simmer gently for about 1 hour until soft. As fruit softens, stir occasionally and mash fruit with the hack of a wooden spoon (extracts pectin).

Ladle the softened fruit and juices into a scalded jelly bag and leave fruit to drip for several hours. Measure strained juice into the rinsed preserving pan and for every 1 pint (600ml) juice add 1 lb (450g) granulated sugar. Stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for about 10 minutes. Draw off the heat and test for a set. Skim the surface. Pour into warmed jelly jars and cover.

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