I decided to make some mint & apple jelly this spring while I had lots of healthy-looking mint. I often look forward to using mint in summer only to discover that it has succumbed to rust. Cutting it right back solves the problem for a while as the new growth is rust-free but coinciding sufficient clean mint with my cooking requirements can be somewhat of a challenge.
1kg cooking apples
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup firmly packed mint leaves, finely chopped (retain stalks)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
green food colouring
Wash and chop the apples and put into a preserving pan, including the peel and cores. Add enough water to cover the apples.
Bring to the boil and simmer (covered) for 30 or until the apples are soft and pulpy.
Strain the pulp through a jelly bag suspended over a bowl. Allow the juice to drip through – don’t squeeze the bag.
Measure the juice and allow 1 cup sugar for each cup of juice.
Put the juice and sugar into the preserving pan. Put the lemon zest and mint stalks into a muslin bag and tie tightly. Add to the pan with the strained lemon juice and cider vinegar. I have a little mesh ball that was designed for adding spices or bouquet garni to casseroles that I though would be perfect for this as well.
Heat gently while stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil.
Add the chopped mint leaves and boil rapidly for about 5 minutes or until the jelly reaches setting point (this can depend on the heat of your element, mine took about 10 minutes). You can test for setting point by putting a little jelly on a cold saucer – when it is at setting point you will see a skin form and it wrinkles when you push your finger against it.
Remove the muslin bag and add a few drops of green food colouring.
Pour the jelly into sterilised jars and seal.