This Crab Apple Jelly is the perfect way to enjoy the tart nature of crab apples right from the tree. I've modified the recipe based on a few I've found and my previous jelly/jam creations...we'll see if my method and ingredients result in crab apple jelly goodness!
Lise's Crab Apple Jelly
8 lbs fresh crab apples (equals about 28 cups of quartered crab apples...sounds like a lot but you want the flavor)
12 cups water
6 cups sugar
1 long cinnamon stick
1 tbsp butter
I forgot to take a picture of all the ingredients, but here are the apples...and yes, there is no pectin in this recipe...crab apples are naturally high in pectin
Remove stems and blossom ends from the crab apples then wash them. I put them in the sink, it filled it up!
Quarter the apples and place them into a large non reactive pot holding the 12 cups of water...quartering these tiny apples took a very long time, be prepared! I was pleasantly surprised when cutting them open...crab apples are beautiful inside...bright red and juicy...
Bring the crab apple mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for 60 minutes...the apples will become very soft and the water will become a little red.
While the mixture is cooking, set a fine colander lined with two or three layers of damp cheesecloth into a large bowl. Pour the crab apple mixture so it strains through the cheesecloth and colander; do not squeeze the cheesecloth.
Let the juice continue to drain until you don't hear it dripping any more. You will get 8 cups of
juice from the drippings to make the jelly...if you don't get 8 cups immediately, let the fruit mixture drip until you do. The juice is very tart and beautifully red/pink...
Bring the 8 cups of crab apple juice to a simmer over medium high heat and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
Add the butter and cinnamon stick...the cinnamon adds a nice flavor and the butter, in addition to a little flavor, helps keep the jelly smooth and helps keep the foaming down while cooking.
Cook the until the
temperature reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer...this jelly will not sheet off a spoon like others because of the natural pectin. The jelly will boil up and foam...
When the jelly reaches 220 degrees, it's time to pour it into the cleaned and prepared jars.
I was so involved in the process I forgot to take pictures of this step, but let me tell you that this little funnel gadget has made a world of difference in my canning of jams/jellies!
Once the jars are filled to 1/4 inch from the top, wipe the rim of the jar, place the lid on top and twist on the ring. Process them in a hot water bath to seal as your local area requires (our altitude requires 10 extra minutes). Once you remove them, place the jars on a rack and let them cool. You will hear the delightful pop of the tops sealing...if you don't, those jars should go in the fridge and be eaten within the next couple weeks.
This jelly is tart but sweet, with a nice twist of cinnamon. I'm still waiting to see if everything sets properly, but all is looking good so far!
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Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,