Spiced Apple Jelly with Mint and Dill

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Apple jelly is a delicious and pretty-looking accompaniment to roast lamb. I use spices which are often used with lamb in the Middle East and the green colour is given by adding spinach

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg (3 lb) green cooking apples, unpeeled, chopped roughly
  • Good handful of fresh mint plus 2 tablespoons roughly chopped mint
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken
  • 900 ml ( pints) water
  • 125 g (4 oz) spinach, stems removed and chopped roughly
  • 300 ml (½ pint) cider vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 3 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed
  • 6-8 cardamom pods, crushed
  • Granulated or preserving sugar
  • Generous bunch of fresh dill, divided into small sprigs

Method

Put the apples in a preserving pan with the handful of fresh mint and broken cinnamon sticks. Add the water, bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 45 min utes, stirring now and then. Add the spinach about halfway through the cook ing. When the apples are very soft and mushy, add the cider vinegar and boil for another 5 minutes.

Spoon the apple and spinach mixture into a scalded jelly bag over a large bowl and leave to strain for at least 12 hours, without pressing, until the dripping has stopped. Tie up the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and cardamom pods in a muslin bag, and wrap the 2 tablespoons of roughly chopped mint in a second muslin bag.

Measure the extracted juice from the apple and spinach mixture and put it in a preserving pan with 500 g (1 lb) of sugar for each 600 ml (1 pint) of juice. Discard the pulp in the jelly bag. Put the pan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved, then add the bags of spices and mint. Bring to the boil, boil rapidly for about 10 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and test for a set.

When the setting point has been reached, remove any scum with a large metal spoon. Add the dill sprigs to the jelly. Leave to cool for 8-10 minutes, then stir again and pour into clean, dry, hot jars, including some dill in each jar. Seal and store.

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