Rowanberries 319 grms
Sloes 106 grms
Elderberries 529 grms
Blackberries 903 grms
Crab apples x 4
Above is the needlessly precise list of fruits I picked on Monday morning to make my hedgerow jelly. There are plenty of elderberries and blackberries around, the rowans are just beginning to ripen in places but it looks like a poor year for sloes.
After destalking – the above are all prepared weights – I tipped rowanberries, sloes and chopped whole crab apples into a pan, barely covered with water and simmered for about 15 minutes, crushing the fruit against the side of the pan occasionally with a wooden spoon. Then I poured in the blackberries and elderberries, returned to the boil and reduced to simmer for another 15 to 20 mins, stirring to prevent catching on the bottom, but that’s unlikely.
I poured the lot into a boiled pillowcase suspended over a saucepan, left it to drip overnight then measured the juice. The traditional ratio is one pound of sugar to one of juice, so as the above yielded 1¼ pints I added 20 ounces of sugar as it heated in the pan. Once the sugar had dissolved I boiled the mixture, watching to ensure it didn’t boil over, then checked for set after about 10 minutes. It was ready. The final quantity nicely filled a 1 litre Kilner jar.
I do like blackberry jam, but don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so the tartness of this hedgerow jelly is a welcome change. I’ll definitely be making more.