Friday, 23 October 2009

Apple Chilli Jelly

As I mentioned in my Apple Day post, I have been making Apple Chilli Jelly.  The recipe is here, and I'll say it again, this is a great one.  I made it last year and we enjoyed it so much that making another batch this year was a foregone conclusion.

I was particularly excited to be making it this year as we actually grew our own chillis!  Much of our vegetable-growing was rather less than successful this year owing to the ridiculously shady plot.  I thought I had lost the chillis too due to an infestation of aphids, but spraying the plants with diluted washing-up liquid obviously did the trick.  That or the ladybirds I kept ferrying over to the plant!

We didn't have a huge crop, but it was so satisfying to see them grow, then redden on the plant.  I love that they have grown into such curly quirky shapes.

Having boiled up the apples yesterday and let them drip overnight, today I measured out the resulting juice and added what seemed like vast amounts of sugar...  Still, I am learning that when preserving you have to just stir in the sugar and not worry about it.  Things won't set if you don't use enough.

It took nearly half an hour of boiling to get this to setting point (I suppose I should have added more sugar...), but while it was on a rolling boil I chopped the chillis. 

When I buy chillis they are clearly labelled as to how hot they are, but of course I had no idea about these.  I licked my finger after chopping them and suspect from the tears that sprung to my eyes that they are pretty hot!  However, I decided to chop them all anyway.  Last year's batch was not very hot, and we both like some chilli heat so I thought I'd go for it.

And I'm pleased I did.  I think the jelly looks just beautiful with the slices of chilli suspended in it.  The jars looked particularly lovely this afternoon as the sun was streaming in through the window and making the jelly glow.