Rosie Birkett, The Sunday Times recipe columnist, in conversation with Lisa Markwell editor of The Dish section of The Sunday Times. They spoke about some fantastic suggestions for delicious edible gifts that are a joy to make and receive and answering all your culinary questions and giving you inspiration about how to make Christmas this year feel special even in challenging times. This event took place on the evening of Thursday, December 10, 2020
Rosie Birkett is The Sunday Times food columnist, and has over a decade of experience as a food writer, broadcaster and author. Rosie has written three cookbooks, The Joyful Home Cook, A Lot On Her Plate, and East London Food all of which champion her ethos of working with seasonal ingredients and connecting her readers more deeply to what they eat and cook.
Here is the recipe for her Apple and Chilli Jelly
Makes 3 small jars
- 900g cooking apples (or sub in a third of medlars or quince)
- 2.5 litres of water
- 650g (or more) of caster or granulated sugar
- 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp pul biber flakes or other dried chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp lemon juice or cider vinegar
Chop the apples into quarters (don’t worry about peeling or coring them) and cover with 2.5 litres of cold water. Cover, bring up to the boil, turn down and let simmer for 45 minutes to one hour, until the fruit is soft and has released its juice to the water. Line a large sieve with two layers of muslin over a deep bowl, and strain the liquid, allowing to drip for an hour or so. Don’t push or squeeze the fruit as this will make for a cloudy jelly. Wash and dry the pan and put a saucer in the freezer. Ready a digital or jam thermometer, if you have one.
Once all of the liquid has drained into the bowl (you should have about 1-1.5 litres), weigh it and transfer it back to the pan. Add 65% of the weight of the juice in sugar (i.e 650g for a litre of juice), along with the lemon juice or vinegar and bring to the boil again. Boil, hard, for 10-15 minutes, until the sugar has melted, the water has cooked off and the liquid has thickened to a syrup. You’re looking for a temperature of 105 degrees centigrade on a thermometer. If you don’t have one, spoon some syrup onto the chilled saucer and pop it back in the freezer for a few minutes. If the surface of the jelly on the cold saucer wrinkles when pushed, the jelly is ready to jar. If not, boil it for a few more minutes before it sets.
When you’re happy, stir in the chilli and chilli flakes and then boil for a minute or two more (this helps to distribute the chilli evenly), then pour into warm, sterilised jars. Top the jelly with circles of greaseproof paper the same size as the neck of the jar, seal with the lids, then turn the jars upside down and allow to cool on a wire rack - this will create a vacuum and seal the jars.
The jelly will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.