The bitterness of Rowan's berries comes through in this jelly along with a wonderful flavour development of sweet through sour, bitter and finally sweet again. It works well as a replacement for Cranberry sauce with dry or gamy meats, or is pretty fantastic on toast
Rowan, or Mountain Ash, is a native tree, but can often be found in gardens so ask any friends or relatives for some of their bounty. Ripe berries have a little give in them. The seeds contain hydrogen cyanide, so need to be removed, and the berries must be cooked or they will cause gastric upset
Good amount of Rowan berries
Equal weight of peeled cored apples (sweet apples work best)
Remove the berries from the stalks and rinse thoroughly
Add the apples and berries to the pan and cover with enough water to just submerge
Bring to the boil until the Rowan berry skins split - add more water if the mixture starts looking too dry
Once skins are split pour contents of pan into a clean jelly bag and strain overnight
Measure strained liquid
For every 500ml of liquid, measure 400g of jam sugar
Prepare sterilised jars
Add the jam sugar and strained juice to a clean pan
Bring to a rolling boil until the liquid reaches set point (105 Celsius)
Bottle in sterilised jars, complete by canning and allow to cool
If jars are sterilised and canned correctly, your jelly should last for 1 year unopened, and 1 month opened and stored in a refrigerator.
Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!