A Christmas Jelly or two!

Well not Jelly as we know it but Jelly in the sense of a fruit preserve.

Jelly is a clear or translucent fruit spread made from sweetened fruit (or vegetable) juice and set using naturally occurring pectin. 

Chutney, Confit, Conserves, Fruit butter, Fruit curd, Fruit spread, Jam, Jelly and Marmalade, all of these come under the general title of ‘Fruit Preserves’.

So here ‘s my masterclass on making a Christmas preserve with images!

Christmas Apple and Cinnamon Jelly
Ingredients: 3lb 30oz cooking apples diced, thinly paired rind of 1 lemon, 2in piece of ginger root crushed, 8in cinnamon stick, roughly broken plus extra if you wish, 1lb 2oz white granulated sugar per pint of juice.

2oz white granulated sugar per pint of juice. 

Method: Put the apples and 1 & 3/4 pints of water in a large preserving pan. Add lemon ring, ginger and cinnamon. Bring to boil, then cover pan and simmer for an hour or so until the apples are pulpy and squidgy. Spoon mixture into a jelly bag and allow top drip for about 6 hours. 

Measure the juice and weigh out the correct amount of sugar. Add the sugar and bring the mixture to a slow boil stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to a rolling boil, then take any scum (white in colour). 

Wash your jars and lids in warm soapy water then sterilise for about 20 minutes in the over on gas mark 4.  Then add the mixture with use of a funnel, seal and label…a voila!

The Victorians enjoyed their preserves and here some examples:

Take fine juicy free-stone peaches, and pare and quarter them. Scald them in a very little water, drain and mash them, and squeeze the juice through a jelly-bag. To every pint of juice allow a pound of *loaf-sugar, and a few of the peach-kernels. Having broken up the kernels and boiled them by themselves for a quarter of an hour in just as much water as will cover them, strain off the kernel-water, and add it to the juice. Mix the juice with the sugar, and when it is melted, boil them together fifteen minutes, till it becomes a thick jelly. Skim it well when it boils. Try the jelly by taking a little in a spoon and holding it in the open air to see if it congeals. If you find, that after sufficient boiling, it still continues thin, you can make it congeal by stirring in an ounce or more of isinglass, dissolved and strained. When the jelly is done, put it into tumblers, and lay on the top double tissue paper cut exactly to fit the inside of the glass ; pressing it down with your fingers.

You may make plum jelly in the same manner, allowing a pound and a half of sugar to a pint of juice. Directions For Cookery Being A System Of The Art 1837

*A sugarloaf was the traditional form in which refined sugar was produced and sold until the late 19th century when granulated and cube sugars were introduced.

Take fine raspberries that are perfectly ripe. Weigh them, and to each pound of fruit allow three quarters of a pound of fine loaf-sugar. Mash the raspberries, and break up the sugar. Then mix them together, and put them into a preserving kettle over a good fire. Stir them frequently and skim them. The jam will be done in half an hour. Put it warm into glasses, and lay on the top a white paper cut exactly to fit the inside, and dipped in brandy. Then tie on another cover of very thick white paper. Make blackberry jam in the same manner. Directions For Cookery Being A System Of The Art 1837

Apple Jam
Ingredients: 3lbs 30z cooking apples, 2lbs 2oz  sugar, 2 lemons, juice and grated zest

Peel the apples, core and slice them very thin, and be particular that they are all the same sort. Put them into a jar, stand this in a saucepan of boiling water, and let the apples stew until quite tender. Put the apples into a preserving-pan, crush the sugar to small lumps, and add it, with the grated lemon-rind and juice, to the apples. Simmer these for 30 minutes, reckoning from the time the jam begins to simmer properly; remove the scum as it rises, and when the jam is done, put it into pots for use. Mrs Beetons Book of Household Management 1861



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