Backyard Crabapple Jelly

crabappleHow many of us have a beautiful crabapple tree on their property?It is one of the best signs of spring when it is covered in beautiful blossoms, and as the fruit grow into what looks like a fantastic, organic home grown little apple, the fact of the matter is that one's vision can get a little blurred if one goes so far as to nibble on one. The tartness, and disappointment, can linger through out the fall, leaving us to sadly rake up piles of the rotten little devils along with our leaves. This year…..DON”T DO IT! We can help, really. Making crabapple jelly is easy, and although it takes a bit of time to cook the apples, it is not at all labour intensive. You don’t even need to remove the stems or cut away any imperfections. You don’t need to fiddle around with pectin either, as the skins of the crabapples contain more than enough natural pectin to set the jelly.

Backyard Crabapple jelly (4lb of crab apples  yield approx. 4 cups of juice)

1 large pot 1 wooden spoon 2 large pieces of cheesecloth 4 pound of crab apples 6 cups water 3 cups sugar

1. Wash apples and cult in 2; place in a min 6-quart pot with a heavy bottom. 2. Add 6 cups water; place over medium heat; bring to a boil. 3. Reduce to a simmer; cook until very soft, approx 90 minutes, or until the apples are mushy and cannot hold their shape. 4. Remove from heat. Pour into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer lined with two layers of damp cheesecloth. 5. Gather cheesecloth; tie into a bundle. Suspend from a wooden-spoon handle set over bowl; drain, without pressing solids, for at least 1 hour. 6. Place juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes; skim foam. 7. Add sugar at a ratio of 4 cups juice to 3 cups sugar. Bring to a roaring boil. skimming foam. 8. Pour into sterilized jars and seal as per manufacturers instructions to ensure a proper seal and no spoilage.

The jelly may take up to 2 days to fully set in the jars.