It's a deep red colour at the moment as I made Bramble Jelly in the jelly bag last time, and although it has been scalded since, some of the colouring remains. It will look pretty when it is set. I'll do that stage tomorrow, now I've got some jam sugar.
You CAN make this with ordinary windfalls too, but give added flavour by adding cloves, ginger or flavouring with lemon peel or sweet geranium leaves. (The recipe is the same if just using cloves, use 6 to 3 lbs windfall apples).
"Scrogg" is the Northumberland name for a crab apple. Colour of the set jelly varies from deep pink to yellow-green depending on variety of crab apples used. These are from a domestic Malus tree, not the wild Malus sylvestris, but work just the same.
4 lbs (1.8 Kg) crab apples
6 whole cloves (optional)
2 pts (1.2 litres) water
1 lb (450g) sugar to each one pint (500 ml) juice (I use jam sugar as it doesn't have the scummy residue that ordinary granulated does, so you get clearer jelly).
Wash apples and cut into quarters or halves. Don't remove peel or cores. Put into a large pan with cloves (if using)and water. Simmer fruit until very soft and pulpy. Strain through a jelly-bag overnight, and next day measure the juice and put back into the pan. Heat very gently, stirring in 1 lb (450g) sugar to each 1 pt (500 ml) juice until completely dissolved. Then bring to the boil and boil rapidly until setting point is reached. Pour into warm sterilized jars, cover and store.
Serve with warm scones and cream, as an accompaniment to cold ham, pork or goose, or as a sponge or cake filling.
Variation: Add about 12 washed sweet geranium leaves to the pan with the apples instead of cloves. This really is a marvellous jelly.
With lemon balm - add 3 or 4 sprigs of lemon balm or verbena to the pan with the apples instead of sweet geranium leaves. Omit cloves.
If using cooking apples up instead, with ginger - add 1 oz (25g) bruised root ginger when cooking the apples instead of the cloves.
For a lemoned variety, add the pared rind of 1 lemon when cooking the apples instead of cloves. The herb lemon balm was also often use to give a lemony flavour when lemons were scarce.
For Herb jellies (with an apple base) - flavour with sage, mint, thyme, lemon balm, basil, karjoram, rosemary or parsley.
Rowan and Crab Apple Jelly - 1 lb (450g) rowanberries; 1 lb (450g)crab apples; 1 pt (500ml) water; 1 lb (450g) sugar to each 1 pt (500 ml) juice. Method as above.
Sloe and Apple Jelly - you can use crab apples or cooking apples. Amounts as above. Prick sloes with a darning needle before cooking up.
Sorry, I forgot to mention this is Sara Paston-Williams: The National Trust Book of the Country Kitchen Store Cupboard is where the recipes come from. That title just about sums me up (Pattypan over on Tarragon and Thyme blogspot, even more!)
Finally, a brighter picture of my cubed pincushion:
I have now cut out and pieced the squares for two more in a different colourway. I shall assemble and stuff them tomorrow. Photos to follow.