Crab Apple Jelly
I had such an amazing summer away in the Okanagan where I grew up. The orchard sprinklers, scorching pine trees and fruit stands took me back to a familiar place of comfort. I stayed with two of my sisters who still live there. One of my sisters lives on an orchard so we had access to fresh peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries, apricots all summer long. We made peach pies, fresh green enchilada sauce, fruit crisp and JAM. Yessiree, we made peach jam, apricot jam, plum jam, plum chutney, and jalapeño jelly. It was so exciting and I came home looking for things I could seal up in a mason jar. When I got home my eyes honed in on my crab apple tree. It was heavy with those tart little wonders so I picked a few buckets to make crab apple jelly. I think these pics are some of my all time favorites. I love the burst of color this fruit gives right when summer is winding down.
They are easy to prepare for jelly because you just need to cut the stem and blossom off and let them boil and break down. For jelly, you are only using the juice that is strained from the crab apples. Thank God for my 13 year old daughter who quickly came to my aid by designing the make shift strainer you see in the photos. The juice needs to be left to drip for a couple hours to yield the clearest jelly.
Here is the recipe I used from Canadian Living.
Crab Apple Jelly
6 lbs of crab apples
4.5 cups of granulated sugar
Remove both stem and blossom ends from crab apples. Do not peel or core. In large Dutch oven, bring crab apples and 6 cups (1.5 L) water to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until softened. Using potato masher, crush crab apples; cook for 5 minutes longer.
Wet and wring out jelly bag; suspend on frame over large measuring cup or bowl. Fill with crab apples; let drip, without squeezing bag, for about 2 hours or until juice measures 6-1/2 cups (1.625 L), adding up to 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) water if necessary.
In large clean Dutch oven, bring juice with sugar to full rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; boil for 15 to 18 minutes or until gel stage. (See Gel Stage Test, below) Remove from heat; skim off foam.
Using funnel, fill hot 1-cup (250 mL) canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch (5 mm) head space. Cover with prepared lids. Screw on bands until resistance is met; increase to fingertip tight. Boil in boiling water canner for 10 minutes. (See Canning Basics)
Additional information : Gel Stage Test:• Remove jelly from heat while doing test.• Chill two or three small plates in freezer.Place 1 tsp (5 mL) hot jelly or jam on plate and freeze for 1 minute. Remove from freezer. Surface should wrinkle when edge is pushed with finger. If surface doesn’t wrinkle, continue cooking and repeat test every few minutes.