Is a failure still a failure if you don't achieve what you set out to do, but you're still happy with the results?
My vintage copy of the Edmonds Cookery book (mine is the edition at the bottom!) tells me that "A perfect jelly is clear, bright and tender, and when cut with a spoon has a clean surface." Yes well, mine is bright.... and it hasn't set at all.
I think I know where I went wrong.
I was supposed to be following this recipe. It's Delia, and nothing could go wrong with Delia, right? Well, that only applies if you actually follow the instructions. Which I did until I got to this point:
"...add the sugar, stir until absolutely dissolved, then bring the mixture up to a rapid boil, and boil for 8 minutes."
After 5 minutes of rapid boiling the mixture was pretty think, and I got scared. "What if I over boil it? What if it gets too thick, and it won't strain? I am using a smaller quantity that it says here..." and so, with visions of a muslin cloth ball of congealed fruit weighing on my judgement, I took it off the heat and began to strain it.
So I don't have a jelly. But I do have a syrup, and a pretty delicious one, if I do say so myself. Which counts as a success as far as I'm concerned.
And how can you possibly fail at preserving fruit when you have a dinosaur "helping?"