Recipe: Steeping jelly with English flavours

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It’s the time of year when blackberries and crab apples are in adundance, and those with a fervour for foraging can make the most of this autumnal harvest.

This recipe for crab apple and Earl Grey jelly from Sheffield’s Hedgerow Preserves features in the Sheffield Cookbook: Second Helpings.

As the book points out,t here is something quintessentially English about Earl Grey tea.

“Although I don’t like a lot of it, the idea of enhancing the flavour of a jelly with it sounded profound”, said Hedgerow.

“Picking this recipe meant that I can use the natural bounty of apples when crab apple season was over.

“I could even infuse with another flavour.”

Preparation time is 15 minutes, plus straining overnight, the cooking time is one hour and this recipe makes five 225g jars which could be ideal to give out as gifts.


Roughly chop the crab apples and put them into a preserving pan together with the tea, and cover them with water.

Bring to a boil and stew the apples for 40-50 minutes, or until really soft.

Put the pulp into a jelly bag, hang it up over a bowl and leave it to drip overnight.

The next day, measure the juice and then weigh out 400g of sugar for every 600ml of juice.

For best results Hedgerow normally warm the sugar on a baking tray in the oven. Pour the juice into a preserving pan, add the lemon juice and slowly bring to the boil. Once boiling slowly stir in the sugar.

Keep stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Boil rapidly until nearly at setting point (104.5°c).

Do the wrinkle test (spoon some jelly onto a cold plate, refrigerate for a couple of minutes then push it with your finger to see if it wrinkles).

Skim off any scum.

Pot the jelly in warm, dry sterilised jars and seal.

This will keep for at least a year.

Refrigerate once opened.

n Sheffield Cookbook: Second Helpings is available from Amazon, Waterstone’s and all venues featured in the book.

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It is on sale now.