I have always been fascinated by the beautiful red berries of the mountain ash. As Alberta winter sets in with its freeze and thaw cycle the berries sweeten. Huge flocks of waxwings arrive to consume the berries. Known as Rowan berries in Europe they have been used for centuries to make jams, jellies and wine. The berries are packed with vitamins and often astringent and bitter. They are usually prepared using equal parts of cleaned berries, cooking apples and granulated sugar. The sharp smoky taste partners well with venison and full flavored cheeses. The nice thing is, the berries are plentiful and can be picked throughout the winter. My berries were gathered from a tree in my back yard. Try making the jelly and I’m sure you’ll agree, ten thousand waxwings can’t be wrong!
Rowan berry Apple Jelly
- 2 lb cleaned rowan berries
- 5 lb Granny smith apples cut into chunks
- Cold water to barely cover
- Bring to boil cook until berries and apples are soft
- Drain over night in a jelly bag or fine sieve DO NOT squeeze bag or jelly will be cloudy
- Add 450grams sugar to each 600 ml of drained juice
- Bring to a boil for 10 minutes or until sugar is dissolved
- Bring to a hard boil an additional 5 minutes until set point is reached
- Bottle in sterilized jars
To test for set point place 1 teaspoon of hot jelly on plate place in freezer 1 minute , Jelly should wrinkle at edges when finger is pushed through.
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