The Jellies That Weren’t

So why was I out in the dark with a torch picking apples?

It was all in the name of a recipe for apple jellies, which caught my eye as it passed through my inbox the other day via TasteSpotting: homemade sweeties that would apparently keep for up to a year but looked like they’d only last for about as long as it would take to open the tin. I was sold. As soon as I could get myself to my mothers apple tree, I was out (in spite of the dark, cold, uninviting nature of the evening) gathering some of the few remaining fruit still hanging about on the branches. It was going to take 2 days, more or less, to get to the final jellied stage (as the recipe involved overnight stints of cooling and drying) so, really, there was no time to waste.

Unfortunately, after the initial flurry of torchlit harvesting, followed by much stewing and reducing, the outcome has been somewhat less gelatinous than I’d like. The puree of apple, sugar and lemon was simmered ’til it was good and thick but apparently not reduced enough. A long sojourn in the oven to dry things out got the mixture closer to something solid but still with liquid tendencies. Things were not looking good, but…

…that didn’t mean that they weren’t tasting good. Quite the contrary. All through the process (and having tasted an early sample), big sis #1 kept remarking that the thick, pulpy apple mixture would be lovely spread on bread or toast (and I really couldn’t argue with her on that one). Ma said it was like a fruit butter. The Da – an apple fiend if ever there was one – just kept asking when it would be ready to eat.

So right now we’re having toast slathered with what, in a masterstroke of marketing, I have rebranded as apple butter, and I’m having absolutely no regrets about the jellies that weren’t…

Wannabe Jellies on Toast

Wannabe Jellies on Toast

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