Mint and rosemary jelly

Is there anything more delicious than mint and rosemary jelly with some lamb chops? Or even better, a hot roasted lamb leg, dripping with sauce, and the fresh bite of mint jelly with every roasted potato mouthful?

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It’s a delicious, ancient combination and it was paired because mint and rosemary help to digest the fatty components from a meaty dish like that. I love how intuitive these age-old combos are, and that there is an inherent, if unknown, logic behind these pairings.

This recipe is based on the apple jelly recipe – that’s the base jelly that we add flavouring to.

Makes 5 cups | Prep and cook time 1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1kg green-skinned apples (ideally Granny Smiths)
  • 1.5 litres (6 cups) water
  • 1.3kg (6 cups) white granulated sugar
  • Handful of chopped mint and/ or rosemary
  • Drop or two of green food colouring (without this the jelly is a pale pink colour)

It’s also advisable to get:

  • Muslin or another fine cloth
  • A stool
  • Elastic bands

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To make

  1. Chop apples coarsely (do not peel, and leave in the seeds and core), and add the pieces to the water in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, and then reduce heat and leave to simmer, covered, for about an hour or until pulpy.
  2. Turn the stool upside down, and put a bowl between the legs. Using the elastic bands, tie the muslin to each leg of the stool. Now carefully put the pulpy cooked apple mash in the fabric and leave the liquid to drip though in the bowl for 3 hours or preferably overnight, until it stops dripping. Don’t squeeze the cloth, and throw the pulp away. (See pics below)
  3. Measure the apple liquid, and use one cup of sugar or every cup of liquid. Return the apple liquid and sugar to the saucepan, and stir over high heat (without boiling) until the sugar dissolves. Then bring to the boil, and boil rapidly, uncovered, without stirring, for about twenty or until the jelly jells when tested. To test this, put a side plate in the freezer and add a drop of cooked liquid to the cold plate. The liquid will quickly cool to room temperature. Push the jam with your finger, and the skin will wrinkle if ready.
  4. Add the mint and/or rosemary to boiling water for a few seconds, and strain thoroughly so there’s little to no liquid trapped in the leaves. Stir this, with a few drops of food colouring, to the jelly.
  5. Put the hot jelly into hot sterilised jars.

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