Sounds good in theory, doesn't it? I had visions of dozens of jars topped with dear little brightly coloured fabric covers. My vision didn't actually extend to just how long it would take to make 200-odd jars of chutney. Especially as I had never before made a chutney.
The next batch was an apple and onion chutney and then I moved on to a more exciting-sounding 'rhubarb and date'. Before long I'd made around 50 jars and was feeling quite the domestic goddess. Whilst my husband liked the idea and even helped with some of the concoctions, he began to get somewhat irked by the way every cupboard in our kitchen was filling up with chutneys, leaving no space for 'real' food. I'd also had enough of all that chopping and begun to feel that I'd never hit my target. Urgent action was required...
|Rhubarb and date chutney in the making!|
|The finished product|
The final jelly we made was a Port jelly for which I followed the same 'template' as the Shiraz jelly. In fact, you could use the same method for any full-bodied wine. The Port jelly was a natural partner for Stilton and other blue cheese but also works well in place of redcurrant jelly when stirred into sauces and gravies.
Remember to place some plates in the fridge or freezer in good time before you attempt these jellies so that you can test for a set.
Shiraz Wine Jelly (or Port Jelly or Chardonnay Jelly....)
Recipe from Jams and Chutneys by Thane Prince
Makes 1kg (approx 4 medium jars), recipe easily doubled
|Shiraz Jelly in the making|
juice of 2 lemons
250g liquid pectin (available from most good supermarkets)
900g white granulated sugar
1.Place a couple of plates in the fridge to chill in plenty of time before you want to make the jelly. Also gather some jars and sterlize either by running them on the hottest setting in the dishwasher or washing in hot, soapy water and drying in a warm oven.
2. Take a preserving pan or very large saucepan. Add wine, lemon juice and pectin and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, whisking occasionally to combine ingredients.
3. Add the sugar and continue to stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
4. Once sugar has completely dissolved, bring to a full rolling boil and, using a slotted spoon, skim off any scum that rises to the surface.
4. Boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat and then test for a set by dropping a little mixture onto a cold plate, allowing it to cool and pushing with finger to see if it wrinkles. When it does, it is ready. If not, Return to the heat for another minute or so and test again. You may need to do this several times until it is set. For more information on testing for setting point do see here for the various methods.
5. When jelly has reached setting point, pot into hot sterilized jars.
Monbazillac Jelly - very similar recipe to above
250g liquid pectin
2. Turn off heat and stir in pectin then bring back to boil for a minute and start testing for a set as above.