Friday, 28 August 2009
Oh the ups and downs of jam making! After the success of the Lavender Jelly I confidently plunged headlong into Chilli Jelly. I found a recipe on a blog I can usually rely on, 600g crab apples, 35g chillis, 1 litre of water. I paused, a litre? Seems like a lot, maybe it tones down the chilli? Dunno, but as it's a trusted source I ploughed on (I seem to have a history of ignoring nagging doubts at my peril) The apples seemed happy bobbing luxuriously in their spacious waterbath which seemed odd as usually the fruit doesn't have enough water to float but hey, let's see what happens ...
It was quite late by the time I potted up the jelly last night so I left it to set, put the pans in to soak and went to bed. I was really quite surprised this morning when I came to label the jelly and discovered it was stone cold but still liquid. Not exactly a major disaster, I just re-boiled it and it has now set, reducing the yield by 1lb in the process, but a pain in the bum none the less.
Normally when making jam/jelly I put just enough water in to stop the fruit catching on the bottom of the pan then add more if I feel it's getting a bit too thick. I guess the problem is the amount of water in the fruit will naturally vary according to ripeness/size so the amount of water can't be dictated exactly. This is where a smidge of experience comes in handy - must remember to trust mine more!
Elsewhere in the Norfolk Kitchen today, I got the 3rd rather wobbly courgette from Rachel's transplaneted plant - hoorah! I also made some fairy cakes with Willow and her friend from school. They were a 5 year old girl's dream, silver cases and pink sparkly sprinkles. I had the bright idea of making lilac icing by squeezing some blackberry juice into the white icing. Can't say I recommend it, it came out a sort of dirty grey/purple colour but experiments built up into experience don't they?
And finally, we decided to dash out after dinner to get some elderberries but were foiled by a sudden, heavy downpour. From a chilli day to a chilly day - Autumn's just around the corner I fear.