Light Bites

Simple grape and lavender jelly

1 litre of jelly

In the kitchen, lavender has found its place in both sweet and savoury cooking. Its subtle fragrance is the perfect accompaniment to many a dish. This recipe for grape jelly is by our guest food writer, Sam Gates.

While we don’t often think of it in cooking, lavender is a welcome addition to any kitchen. The soothing scent of lavender makes a great addition to drinks and desserts. Used sparingly, it has a sweet, delicate flavour that works beautifully in this lemon and lavender loaf cake here. It also looks particularly attractive when sprinkled over the top of icing.

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Ingredients

  • 1.2kg black seeded grapes 
  • 3tsp dried lavender
  • 500g white granulated or jam sugar

Method

  1. Wash the grapes and remove branches and stems and any bruised fruit. Place in a large preserving pan or saucepan with the lavender and just cover with cold water.
  2. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the skins are soft. Using a potato masher, gently squash them a little and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  3. Strain the fruit through a jelly bag or muslin cloth and leave to drip overnight. Do not touch or squeeze the jelly bag.  The next day, throw away the grape pulp and measure the juice into a saucepan.
  4. Add 90-100g of sugar to the saucepan for every 100ml of lavender grape juice. Slowly heat the juice and sugar, stirring constantly until it dissolves, then bring to a gentle boil. Keep boiling until it reaches setting point *
  5. Skim any scum off the top and pour quickly into hot, sterilized jars. Seal the lids quickly and label.

* Setting point can be checked by placing a teaspoon of jelly onto a cold plate. Allow the jelly to cool, and then push it with your finger. If it wrinkles and doesn’t slide away, it has reached setting point.