Of Cake, Jelly, Tea Parties and Gin

I have been busy. And I am tired. Tireder than a tired thing that eats tired pills for breakfast, has insomnia pie for dinner and then stays awake all night.

But I wanted to briefly mention my tea party. The Captain and I have made it to Stratford which is where I study. I have not been here since my accident. To catch up with a few people all at once, we hosted a tea party.

I baked a Victoria Sponge which was the most ‘normal’ thing available. There was also Wild Flower Syrup Cake which was an experiment but I think worked. Finally, I’d made piles of scones topped with either Dandelion Marmalade, my Mum’s Plum Jam or Compost Heap Jelly. It was all washed down with Pimms, Elderflower Cucumber Spritzer or Gin, as should be the case with all good tea parties.

It was lovely and I enjoyed myself very much. Whether my guests did is another matter …!

Tomorrow, the Captain and I begin to meander slowly home. I have more photos to show you and more foraging to tell you of but that takes me back to my first paragraph. So, in the true spirit of Blue Peter, here is something I prepared earlier. The recipe for Compost Heap Jelly. Next time I make it, I’ll try to up the citrus fruit and cut back on the apples as I found it a bit sweet. But try it yourself and see what you think.

Compost Heap Jelly

Makes 3 x 225g jars

500g apple cores and peel

500g citrus fruits (unwaxed lemon, orange, grapefruit and/or lime), cut into roughly 1cm shreds

Granulated sugar

Juice of 1 orange, lemon or grapefruit

Pute the apple cores and peel and the citrus peel into a sauce pan. Add sufficient water to cover (you’ll probably need about 1.5 litres). Bring to a simmer and cook slowly for 45-60mins. Turn the fruit into a scalded jelly bag or muslin and leave overnight to drip.

Measure the strained liquid and weigh 450g sugar for every 600ml juice. Return the juice to the pan and add the orange/lemon/grapefruit juice, if using. Bring to the boil, then add the sugar. Stir until dissolved then boil rapidly, without stirring, until setting point is reached, about 10 mins or so.

Remove from the heat and stir, always going in the same direction, until all the surface bubbles have disappeared. Pour into warm, sterilised jars and either swivel or tap the jars to remove any remaining bubbles. Seal. Use within 12 months.

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4 thoughts on “Of Cake, Jelly, Tea Parties and Gin

  1. So looking forward to the photos! Hope you don’t arrive back looking too much like you’ve been in the jungle with a panga!
    Loved the blogs, and could almost taste the foraging results!

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