Monday, April 04, 2011

Jude's Jelly

The Lilly Pilly (Syzygium sp.) is a genus of rain forest trees growing in Australia and South East Asia. They come in all sizes and have been adapted well to cultivation and are seen in a lot of gardens and as street trees.
Most have dark green glossy foliage with red to bronze coloured new growth and lots of colourful flowers in summer and eventually small round fruit in bunches during autumn.
We have them growing in profusion, wild, along our creek banks. Ours usually have bunches of white fruit. What this exact species is, is hard to say.
One of our ex neighbours planted many of these trees (species again not known) around his property boundary.

This year due to all the rain they have fruited prolifically. Huge bunches of purple berries are weighing down the trees.
We 'oldies' in the neighbourhood realized what a bounty this was.
So neighbour Judy was out collecting them to make Lilly Pilly jelly.
And how delicious is it!
Took me back to my childhood as we had a tree growing in our backyard and my mother always made jelly from the fruit.

I guess this brings up the jam/jelly/jello language issue.
Jam to us is any fruit boiled up with water and sugar and allowed to set, then eaten on bread or toast ie. the USA jelly. Also sometimes called conserve here while the result of this process with citrus fruit is called marmalade.
Jelly to Australians is first and foremost the dessert made from flavoured gelatin ie. the USA jello.
Another jelly to Australians is jam that has been strained through a cloth during the cooking process which produces a clear fruit spread eg. Jude’s great Lilly Pilly jelly.

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