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Making Pyracantha Jelly/Jam
Pyracantha berries are not poisonous as many people think although they taste very bitter. They are edible when cooked and can be made into jelly. Pyracantha jelly is quite tasty, and is similar to apple jelly in both appearance and flavour with a little tang.
As Pyracantha are quite common and do produce masses of berries it is quite easy to gather enough berries to make yourself a few jars of jelly, be sure to wear gloves to protect hands from thorns.
We recommend using red Pyracantha berries, off varieties such as ‘Red Column‘, pick berries when they are bright red (in late autumn) if the birds haven’t got there before you.
Pyracantha Jelly/Jam Recipe
There are a few recipes for making Pyracantha jelly but we have tried a few, and this one seems to be the best and works well.
What you need:
3½ lb Pyracantha berries
2½ pts water
4 fl oz lemon juice (Pro Rata)
3½ lb sugar (Pro rata)
First pick your berries and measure out 3½ lb of Pyracantha berries and then wash them in water. Get a large pan and fill with water and bring to the boil. Now add the Pyracantha berries and bring to the boil and allow to simmer for around 20 minutes.
Now remove the pulp and strain (cooked berries) through a muslin cloth.
Next, remove the berry juice and measure how much you have. Add the juice back into the pan and for every 1½ pints of juice you have, add 4oz of lemon juice and 3½ lb sugar. Now bring back to the boil again and when boiling add one full bottle of liquid pectin and keep stirring, keep boiling for around one minute and keep stirring. A thin layer of foam will start to form on top of the contents in the pan.
Any excess berry juice can be frozen and used to make jelly later if preferred.
Now test to see if the jelly/jam is ready
After boiling for the appropriate time, remove the pan from the heat and pour a little onto a pre-cooled plate. Cool the jam quickly and run your little finger through the cooled blob. If the jam is ready, it will crinkle slightly and remain in two separate portions. It will also form a drop on the end of your finger which will not fall off. If it is not ready, simply return the pan to the heat and boil for a further few minutes and test again.
If the jam is ready now skim the foam off the surface and pour into jars and seal and tie down immediately as you would with all jams.
How to seal and tie down
After filling clean, warm jam jars, place a waxed paper disc over the surface of the jam, wax side down. It is important to make sure that the whole surface is covered. Dampen one side of a cellophane disc and place this, dry side down, over the neck of the jar, pull tight and secure with an elastic band.
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