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How To Make Rosemary Jelly
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.
- 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)
- Remove stems from the apples. Do not peel or core them. Cut into quarters (or eighths if the apples are very large).
- Place the apples into a large pot along with 1.5 litres of water and rosemary.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the strained juice 1 large lemon. The juice must be strained as the aim is to keep the jelly as clear as possible.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Strained Solids To Be Discarded
Rosemary Jelly With Rosemary Sprig
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.