How To Make Rosemary Jelly

Rosemary jelly, a perfect accompaniment for roast or grilled lamb. Image: © Siu Ling Hui
Rosemary jelly, a perfect accompaniment for roast or grilled lamb. Image: © Siu Ling Hui

Rosemary and lamb are a classic flavour marriage. This apple-based rosemary jelly extends this flavour partnership beyond the marinade stage to the dinner table.

It is fantastic with roast or grilled lamb; in fact much more popular than mint jelly. You'll find that people will virtually douse their plates with rosemary jelly once they've had a taste. So it's worth making large quantities.

I used about an eighth of this bush for around 2kg of apples for my rosemary jelly. Image: © Siu Ling Hui
I used about an eighth of this bush for around 2kg of apples for my rosemary jelly. Image: © Siu Ling Hui

Ingredients

Tips:

  • Ideally, you should use tart cooking apples but a tart eating apple like Granny Smith will be fine.
  • Use a generous quantity of rosemary for greater intensity of flavour. If the rosemary is on woody branches, strip the leaves from the wood. Young sprigs don't have to be stripped.

1.5 kg apples, preferably tart cooking apples

1.5 litres water

large bunches of rosemary

approx 1 kg castor sugar (final amount depends on amount of strained liquid)

1 large lemon

small sprigs of rosemary for bottling (optional)

Fine mesh skimmer used for removing scum during cooking to ensure clear jelly.  Image: © Siu Ling Hui
Fine mesh skimmer used for removing scum during cooking to ensure clear jelly. Image: © Siu Ling Hui
Wool jelly bag. Image: © Siu Ling Hui
Wool jelly bag. Image: © Siu Ling Hui

Method

  1. Remove stems from the apples. Do not peel or core them. Cut into quarters (or eighths if the apples are very large).

  2. Place the apples into a large pot along with 1.5 litres of water and rosemary.

  3. Bring the water to the boil. Then lower the heat and leave the ingredients to gently simmer for 45 minutes with the pot partially covered.

  4. Set up a jelly bag over a bowl and carefully transfer the liquid, apples and rosemary into the bag. Leave to drip overnight. See picture below.

  5. The next day, weigh the strained liquid. Pour the liquid into a large clean pot together with the same weight of caster sugar. For example, if you have 1.2 kg of liquid, add 1.2 kg of sugar.

  6. Add the strained juice 1 large lemon. The juice must be strained as the aim is to keep the jelly as clear as possible.

  7. Bring the liquid to the boil over high heat. Stir to dissolve all the sugar before the liquid reaches boiling point.

    Whitish scum will form on the surface of the boiling liquid as you cook. Skim this off with a fine mesh skimmer from time to time. Continue cooking until the temperature registers 105°C on a candy thermometer.

  8. Place clean jam jars into a 110°C oven to sterilise whilst the jelly is cooking. Prepare small sprigs of rosemary for the jars by washing them and then drying them gently but thoroughly with kitchen paper. Place the sprigs into sterilised jars.

  9. Fill the sterilised jars with the hot liquid jelly. The jars should be filled almost to the brim. Seal the jars immediately and turn them over. Leave the jars standing on their lids until the jelly is semi-set. Then flip them over to finish cooling. By doing this, you'll ensure that the decorative rosemary sprig is remains suspended attractively in the jelly. Store in a cool dry place.

Jelly Bag Set Up To Drip Overnight

Jelly bag set up using clothes airer and a few clothes pegs. Image: © Siu Ling Hui
Jelly bag set up using clothes airer and a few clothes pegs. Image: © Siu Ling Hui

Strained Solids To Be Discarded

The strained solids can be added to the compost bin. Image: © Siu Ling Hui
The strained solids can be added to the compost bin. Image: © Siu Ling Hui

Rosemary Jelly With Rosemary Sprig

Image: © Siu Ling Hui
Image: © Siu Ling Hui

Other Herb Jelly Variations

  • Use thyme instead of rosemary or a combination of thyme and rosemary.

  • For mint jelly, add bunches of fresh mint to the apples only after simmering is complete. Cover the pot and leave the mint leaves to infuse for 20 - 30 minutes. Then strain and proceed as per the above recipe.

  • For an Asian herb jelly, use whole kaffir lime leaves and sliced chillies instead of rosemary with the apples. For decorative effect, you can put some finely shredded kaffir lime leaves and finely sliced chillies in the jars just before you fill them. This jelly is fantastic with grilled or roast chicken.

  • You can also make a plain apple pectin stock (ie no herbs added). This is useful for making jams with fruits that have very little pectin. For example, sour cherry jam.

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7 comments

chefsref profile image

chefsref 2 years ago from Citra Florida

Interesting, I never even heard of rosemary jelly. But, since I have a couple of plants I will have to give it a shot

Lee


Foodstuff profile image

Foodstuff 2 years ago from Australia Author

Chefsref, You'll love it and so will your family and friends.


oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 2 years ago from australia

Foodstuff Hi. Thanks for this very interesting recipe,we have 3 rather large rosemary bushes in the garden,so will be making rosemary jelly for sure. Your easy to follow directions and photographs are a great help. Thamks again. :) :)


Foodstuff profile image

Foodstuff 2 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks, oliversmum. Enjoy! Wonderful with lamb!


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 16 months ago from Northeast Ohio

This sounds interesting, Foodstuff. I never heard of rosemary jelly. I would love to give it a go someday. Voted up!


Foodstuff profile image

Foodstuff 16 months ago from Australia Author

Thanks, Kristen Howe. This jelly is also excellent with cheese on bread!


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 16 months ago from Northeast Ohio

You're very welcome. Sounds delicious!

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