Squashberry jelly. Yum.
I would describe it as a cranberry-like jelly that has the smell of 'the woods'. Specifically, it smells of blasty boughs. Yum again.
That might be a hard sell for some, but blasty boughs is one of my favourite smells and I think it works brilliantly in a jelly.
The squashberry is a member of the honeysuckle family. It is known as Viburnum edule (Michx.) Raf. in some circles. It is a relative of the highbush cranberry, however it is not quite as acidic. It grows 1-2 meters high and the leaves remind me a little of the maple leaf. The berry has a seed that makes it pretty useless as a jam, but great as a jelly.
I do not have access to a lot of squashberries, but I do have access to Bidgood's and they seem to have a pretty darn good supply. Thank you Bidgoods!
I don't add pectin when I make squashberry jelly. I simply boil up the fruit, strain the chunky bits, sweeten and simmer until it passes the 'sheet test'.
My people tend to like really tart jellies... jellies that make your face pucker a wee little bit, so this method of making jelly gives me the freedom to throttle back on the sugar so the jelly packs a bit of a punch.
Bidgood's has a recipe for squashberry jelly should you be interested.
Today I decided to whip up a few tea buns to give my squashberry jelly something to sit on for the photo shoot. Pretty thoughtful, I know.
Everything was going ok until I realized that I added twice the sugar amount, so I did what had to be done...I doubled the batch.
That worked out fine, except for the fact that now I have a whack of tea buns staring at me, daring me to eat them. Ok, well I actually have a whack minus the bunch that I ate for the photo shoot. But who is counting. I am going to throw the rest in the freezer in hopes that will muffle their taunts.
Should you find yourself wanting a tea bun and some squashberry jelly in the next few days, give me a call! I have more than enough to share and a tea break would be welcomed!
All photos are shot with a Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro IS USM lens. I used ambient light and reflectors for the shots of the berries while the jelly shots use ambient light and a speedlight.
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