Meals and Courses

Bitter Lime & Pernod Jelly

prep 25 mins, plus straining cook 1 hour 5 mins–1 hour 10 mins
  • 6 large limes (about 500 g/ 1 lb in total) roughly chopped
  • 500 g (1 lb) pears, roughly chopped (no need to peel and core)
  • 1.2 litres (2 pints) water
  • about 750 g (1½ lb) granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Pernod
  • 15 g (½ oz) butter (optional)

Add the limes, pears and measurement water to a preserving pan, bring to the boil, then cover and cook gently for 1 hour, stirring and mashing the fruit from time to time with a fork, until soft.

Allow to cool slightly, then pour into a scalded jelly bag suspended over a large bowl and allow to drip for several hours.

Measure the clear liquid and pour back into the rinsed preserving pan. Weigh 500 g (1 lb) sugar for every 600 ml (1 pint) of liquid, then pour into the preserving pan. Add the Pernod and cook gently, stirring from time to time, until the sugar has dissolved.

Bring to the boil, then boil rapidly until setting point is reached (5–10 minutes). Skim with a draining spoon or stir in butter if needed.

Ladle into warm, dry jars, filling to the very top. Cover with screw-top lids, or with waxed discs and cellophane tops secured with elastic bands. Label and leave to cool.

To serve, try spreading baguette slices with cream cheese, then top with smoked salmon, jelly and watercress.

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