Quin and I were visiting friends on the bike the other day and he insisted on stopping to pick some lilly pillies to munch on. These are cute little fruit that grow on beautiful big trees that are common in old Hilton gardens. They are native to the east coast of Australia but do very well here. The texture is weird and slightly astringent. They are free and bountiful and so we eat them! We've done jelly and cordial before and both taste a bit like different forms of fairy floss. What's not to love?
The recipe is from my favorite preserves book, A Year in a Bottle by Sally Wise. The recipes are simple and never fail. This one is:
1.5 kgs lilly pillies
juice of one lemon
Boil lilly pillies in enough water to just cover them with lemon juice, then cook gently for 30 mins.
Strain through a colander, then through a sieve lined with muslin.
For each cup of liquid add a cup of sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved and then bring to a rolling boil.
When setting point is reached (ie test with a few drops on a saucer in the fridge - if it sets when cooled, its set) pour into sterile jars and seal. The jelly is beautifully clear and smooth and very fairy flossy.