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Mint Jelly

This is a microwave recipe although you can also cook it conventionally in a saucepan. Make a jelly bag from a large piece of double muslin. Attach each corner with string or rubber bands to the legs of a small, upside-down stool to make a 'bag'. Place a bowl underneath to catch the juice.

1kg crisp cooking apples
1 large bunch fresh mint
600ml water
300ml white vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
500g sugar
green food colouring, optional
Wash the apples and mint. Chop the apples coarsely, including the cores. Finely chop 2 tablespoons of mint — place to one side.

Place the apples, whole mint leaves, water, vinegar and lemon juice in a large, microwave-proof bowl. Microwave on high (100%) power for 25 minutes, mashing the apples occasionally. Reduce the power level and increase the cooking time if the mixture tends to boil over.

Pour into a jelly bag and strain the juice into a bowl. This takes about 3 hours. Measure the juice. For each 1 3/4 cups of juice allow 1 2/3 cups of sugar.

Place the juice in a large bowl and microwave on high power for 3 minutes. Stir in the sugar and a few drops of green food colouring.

Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir, then continue cooking for 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped mint and continue cooking for 5 minutes, until 104°C (setting point) is reached. Pour into sterilised jars to within 5mm of the top. Seal. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.