Making Crabapple Jelly
Crabapple Jelly isn't a treat you will likely find in your grocery store's jam isle. For many people the taste of this uniquely sweet and bitter mix reminds them of their grandmother's cooking or their mom's yearly canning routine. I had never considered making it before, but this year noticed that the little crabapple tree in our goat's pasture was weighted down with fruit.
I did have to ward off curious and always hungry goats in order to pluck the tiny apples from the tree. I gathered a basket full, and headed back to the kitchen to make some jelly.
The recipe I made rewarded me with one full quart of jelly. You can scale up the recipe for more. Here's how I did it.
What You'll Need
4 cups of freshly cut crabapples, with stems and bud-ends trimmed off
1 1/2 cups of white sugar
To begin, cut the crab apples into quarters. Toss the tiny quarters into your cooking pot - your pot should be stainless steel, or another non-reactive material.
Submerge the crabapples in water, until it just covers them. Heat the pot until it beings to boil, then allow it to simmer for about fifteen minutes.
Once the apples are soft through, remove them from the heat. Pour the juice into a bowl and then strain any remaining juice from the pulp through 2-3 layers of cheesecloth. Discard the pulp.
Return the juice to your pot and to the heat, and bring it to a boil. Allow the juice to simmer for ten minutes, skimming off any foam that rises. After ten minutes, slowly stir in the sugar, making sure it dissolves completely.
Continue to simmer your mixture. Using a digital thermometer, monitor the heat until it reaches 210 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit. You don't want it to go beyond this as it will begin to harden.
When the desired temperature is reached, remove the jelly from the heat and pour it into your sanitized jars, and seal them.
And there you have it, jelly!
Crabapple jelly's combination of bitter and sweet flavors makes it tasty as part of a PB&J, and it also makes it a delicious savory option for cheese and crackers. Enjoy!