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Mint Jelly

A delicious herb jelly, made in the traditional way, and a pleasant change from mint sauce to go with roast lamb.
The yield will depend on the ripeness of the fruit and the time allowed for dripping.

ingredients

2.3 kg (5 lb) cooking apples, such as Bramleys
a few large sprigs fresh mint
1.1 litres (2 pints) distilled white vinegar
sugar
90 - 120 ml (6 - 8 tbsp) chopped fresh mint
a few drops of green food colouring

method

1. Remove any bruised or damaged portions from the apples and roughly chop them into thick chunks without peeling or coring. Put them in a preserving pan with 1.1 litres (2 pints) water and the mint sprigs. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for about 45 minutes, until soft and pulpy. Stir from time to time to prevent sticking. Add the vinegar and boil for a further 5 minutes.

2. Spoon the apple pulp into a jelly bag or cloth attached to the legs of an upturned stool, and leave to strain into a large bowl for at least 12 hours. Do not squeeze.

3. Discard the pulp remaining in the jelly bag. Measure the extract and return it to the preserving pan with 450 g (1 lb) sugar for each 568 ml (1 pint) extract.

4. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, then boil rapidly for about 10 minutes. Test for a set and, when setting point is reached, take the pan off the heat and skim the surface with a slotted spoon.

5. Stir in the chopped mint and add a few drops of green food colouring. Allow to cool slightly, then stir well to distribute the mint and pot and cover the jelly.

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