This is a delicious type of clear jam made from the autumn fruit growing on the hedgerows. This recipe is using damsons, blackberries and elderberries, and it is well worth spending an afternoon in the countryside picking the ripe fruit yourself to make into this delightful jelly.
A clear preserve like this jelly needs a ‘jelly bag’ to strain the fruit juice through – best left overnight. Do not be tempted to squeeze the jelly bag while it is draining, or the jelly will become cloudy.
Hedgerow Jelly Recipe
Makes about 1.3 Kg of fruit jelly to pot. If you do not have enough of one type of fruit, you can vary the quantities as long as the total weight of fruit is the same. The amount of sugar needed depends on the total amount of fruit juice strained through the jelly bag.
- 450g damsons (washed)
- 450g blackberries (picked over and rinsed)
- 225g raspberries (picked over and rinsed)
- 225g elderberries (picked over and rinsed)
- 2 large lemons (pips and juice)
- approx – 1.3 Kg jam sugar (with added pectin) warmed
Put the fruit, lemon juice and pips in a large saucepan. Pour over just enough water to cover. Put a lid on the pan and simmer for 1 hour. After an hour take off the heat, mash (with a potato masher) the fruit, and leave to cool slightly. Pour into a scalded jelly bag suspended over a non-metallic bowl and leave to drain overnight.
Measure the strained juice into a preserving pan. Add 450g of jam sugar for every 600ml (1 pint) of strained fruit juice.
Heat the mixture, stirring frequently, over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and boil rapidly without stirring for
10 to 15 minutes, or until the jelly reaches the setting point (105°C/220°F).
Remove the pan from the heat, and skim off any scum and impurities rising to the surface, using a slotted spoon. Ladle into warmed, sterilized jars and seal. Leave to cool, then label and store.