- December 2023
- Makes 3 x 370g jars
- Hands-on time 25 min, plus overnight hanging and 30 min infusing. Simmering time Up to 1 hour 55 min
Debora Robertson’s wine jelly is a versatile condiment to have on hand at Christmas and can be made and stored way ahead of time.
Debora says: “You can serve the wine jelly with cheese and charcuterie – it’s particularly tasty with soft goat’s cheese on some good crackers – but you can also stir it into sauces and glazes for roasted meat. If you’re a generous sort, a jar makes a thoughtful Christmas gift too.”
- 5.8g (5.8g sugars)
- 1.5kg cooking apples
- 400ml dry white wine (check it’s vegan if you need it to be)
- 10 lemon thyme sprigs (see tip)
- 900g-1.35kg granulated sugar (as needed)
- Juice 2 lemons
- Jelly bag
- 3 x 370g sterilised jars
- Roughly chop the apples (don’t peel or core them) and put them in a large saucepan. Pour in just enough water to cover, then set over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, then cook for 40-60 minutes until very soft.
- Suspend a jelly bag over a large bowl and tip the contents of the pan into it. Leave to drip through overnight. Don’t be tempted to squeeze the bag as this can make the jelly cloudy.
- The next day, pour the wine into a small pan and add the thyme. Bring to a simmer, remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve into a bowl, then set aside.
- Put a saucer in the freezer. Combine the thyme-infused wine with the strained apple juice, then measure the total liquid – you should have 1.2-1.8 litres. For every 600ml liquid, weigh out 450g sugar.
- Put the liquid and sugar in a preserving pan or large saucepan and warm over a medium heat, stirring from time to time, until the sugar has dissolved (when you look at the spoon it shouldn’t appear at all gritty). Increase the heat and bring to a rolling boil, then cook for anywhere between 20 and 45 minutes (depending on the amount of liquid you had). To test if the jelly has reached the correct setting point, take the pan off the heat, drop 1 tsp onto the frozen saucer and let it sit for a minute. It’s ready if the jelly wrinkles when you push it with your finger. If it doesn’t wrinkle, keep on boiling and test again in 5-10 minutes.
- When it’s ready, skim off any scum or foam from the top of the jelly, then stir in the lemon juice. Pour the jelly into warm sterilised jars, seal and invert the jars for 1 minute to help make a good seal. Store in a cool dark place for up to a year. Once opened, keep in the fridge and use within a week.
“If you like, you can play with the seasonings,” says Debora. “I’ve made the jelly with lemon verbena, rosemary, star anise and chillies in place of the thyme, with great success.”
Store in a cool dark place for up to a year. Once opened, keep in the fridge and use within a week.
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