- 1kg cooking apple
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 star anise
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- 15 cloves
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- half nutmeg, grated
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- 4 allspice berries
- 1 blade mace, or ¼ tsp ground mace
- 4 long pieces orange peel
- 8 bay leaves
- 450g jam sugar
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- 100ml cider vinegar
Wash and cut up the apples into small chunks, leaving the peel and cores in. Tip the apple into a large pan with the spices, orange peel and bay leaves, reserving 2 star anise, 4 cloves and 2 bay leaves for the jars. Cover with 600ml water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer with a lid on for 1 1⁄2 hrs.
Pour the apple mixture into a jelly bag or a sieve lined with muslin or a J-cloth, suspended over a large bowl. Leave to drip for 2 hrs (until it stops dripping) or overnight. Do not be tempted to push the liquid though the sieve or your jelly will become cloudy.
Measure the juice – you should have about 600ml. Pour the liquid into a large pan along with the jam sugar and vinegar.
Set over a low heat to dissolve the sugar, stirring constantly. Once dissolved, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for 15 mins, or until setting point is reached, skimming away any scum that rises to the surface.
Pour jelly into hot sterilised jars and place a star anise, bay leaf and 2 cloves into each jar. Chill for 3-4 hrs or overnight until set.
Cooking your jellyTo ensure your jelly sets, it's best to use a sugar thermometer to check that the jelly reaches 105C (setting point). If you don't have one, put a small plate in the freezer for 5 mins, then pour a little of the juice onto a saucer. After 1 minute, run your finger through - if the jam wrinkles, it's ready.
To sterilise jarsWash the jars in hot soapy water, rinse well and dry in the oven at 180C/ 160C fan/ gas 4 for 10 mins just before filling.
Our downloadable labelsDownload our printable preserves labels – perfect for writing cook’s notes and gift messages. You can find them here.