This recipe uses the natural pectin found in apples to set the jelly. Alternatively you could use pectin to set the jelly and leave out the apples however I prefer the more natural option.
1 kg of cooking or crab apples
500 ml of Water
500ml of cider vinegar
Sugar (1lb of sugar to each pint juice
A handful of fresh chillies (vary according to taste/variety, i use about 15).
Add the chopped apples (including the peel & core which is where most of the pectin is found!) to 500ml of cold water and 500ml of cider vinegar. Throw in about half the chopped chillies then bring to the boil then simmer for about 25 minutes.
Pour the contents of the pan through a piece of thick muslin or a jelly bag. The key here is not to force the pulp through the muslin as this can result in a cloudy jelly. Leave to drip through the bag for 5 hours.
Put the strained juice/pulp into a pan on a low heat. Measure the juice and stir in half a kg of sugar per pint of strained juice/pulp then turn the heat up for a further 10 minutes stirring to ensure the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, as you notice it thickening up stir in some more finely chopped chillies.
Meanwhile boil some clean jars in water to sterilize. Place the jelly mixture in the sterilized jars and allow to cool fully.
This stuff is superb and is delicious served with cheese & crackers and sandwiches/toasties.
Getting The Right Setting Point
In order to avoid your jelly you need to ensure you boil the jelly to the correct setting point.Below is a simple test you should do to ensure you boil the jelly enough to avoid problems with is setting.
Before you start to make the jelly place a small plate into the freezer. Once you think the jelly is ready (after 25 mins boiling) revove the plate from the freezer and place a small amount of jelly on it and allow it to cool for a few seconds. Run your finger through the jelly, if it has formed a skin that wrinkles slightly the jelly is ready. If not continue to boil for a few more minutes before retesting.