Our two old apple trees continue to fruit heavily despite the vagueries of the British weather. However every year since we've been at Holly Grove we've consigned heaps of apples to the compost bins as the unripe fruit falls from the trees.
An attempt at cider is on the cards for later in the season when more fruit has matured and we have gathered together the basic equipment. In the meantime, what to do with these under-ripe windfall apples? Whilst browsing on the web I came across a recipe for an apple jelly with ginger - I love ginger and so the scene was set to try the recipe...
Windfalls and Ginger Jelly
a bag of windfall apples, washed and cut into chunks
(remove any damaged parts of the apple but do not core or skin)
white granulated sugar
stem ginger, finely diced
Place the chopped apples in a large saucepan or preserving pan with enough cold water to just cover the apples. Cover and bring to the boil, then simmer until the apples are soft and mushy.
Put the apple pulp into a jelly bag suspended over a large bowl and leave overnight for the juice to drip through. Do not squeeze the bag or the jelly will be cloudy.
The following day measure the juice and add to a pan with 1lb of sugar for each pint of juice. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a fast boil and check for setting point (105C) using a sugar thermometer. When setting point is reached remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes, remove any scum with a slotted spoon. Add the chopped ginger and stir through the jelly. Put into small sterilised jam jars and cover and seal when the jelly is cold.
The result a lovely pinkish amber jelly infused with the warmth of ginger and a few less apples on the compost heap.
Note: I had a few 'challenges' getting the ginger evenly distributed through the jelly. In the end I filled the jars and then waited until the jelly was just warm and beginning to set and then stirred each jar of jelly to distribute the ginger and...phew...it seemed to work! Be careful not to introduce any air bubbles into the jelly when redistributing the ginger or your jelly won't keep well.