Crab Apple Jelly

Unfortunately I don’t have a crab apple tree in my garden, but I was very kindly offered free pick of someone else’s.  I haven’t made a huge amount of jellies in my time, so I was excited by giving it a go and to see what these amazing little apples could do.  To be a little more adventurous, you could add some mint or chilli while you’re cooking the apples – this recipes makes about 4 average sized jars, so bear that in mind when you’re deciding how much to add.

So here’s how:

1.5kg crab apples

approx 1kg sugar

juice of half a lemon

Wash the apples and pick off their stalks.  Place in a pan and add just enough water to cover.  Bring up to the boil and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until the apples are tender.  Get your masher and mash them up with the water.

Line a seive with a couple of pieces of muslin (or use a jelly bag) and balance it over a bowl, put the apple mush into the seive and leave over night (for at least 8 hours) to get all the juice out.  It is important here not to push the apple juice through as this will make the resulting jelly cloudy.

When you come back to it, discard what’s in the sieve and measure out how much juice you have.  You need to add 7 parts sugar to 10 parts juice – maths has never been my strong point, but I divided my 1300ml of liquid by 10 and multiplied that by 7, so 910g sugar.  Place this in a saucepan and slowly bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar, then bubble away for about 40-50mins, skimming away any scum that rises to the surface.  To test if it’s done, place a small plate in the fridge and spoon a little of the liquid onto the plate and return to the fridge for a minute or so.  When you remove it, the jelly should appear set and wrinkle up when you push it with your finger.

Pour into warm sterile jars and store in a cool, dark place.

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9 Responses to Crab Apple Jelly

  1. michael says:

    What’s this good with? Sausages?

    • Laura Fyfe says:

      it could be good with sausages, or maybe even your thanksgiving turkey… we’ve had it with pork (the 10 hour number) and with some confit duck – it worked a treat with both.

  2. Hambo says:

    i am planning to make this this weekend. if i wanted to make it a chilli crab apple jelly and put roughly chopped deseeded chillies in the pot with the apples, would that work? would it affect the petptin or whatever?
    also my crab apple tree i have found on my morning walk (don’t tell the farmer) has a very light greeney yellow apple, not red. i am hoping red chilli skins will give a bit of colour to the end product.
    your thoughts?

    • Laura Fyfe says:

      great minds think alike, i have a bag of crab apples in the fridge awaiting some chilli jam action… i’ve read that adding around 60g chopped chillies (seeds and all) per 1kg crab apples gives a good heat – you add them to the apples while cooking them, and no they won’t effect the pectin (aka petptin) in the apples. as for the colour – the chillies may effect it a little but I think the end result want be red red – you’d need to keep searching for another tree, but it’ll be delicious all the same!

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  4. Fiona says:

    Someone told me that crab apples are poisonous at certain times of year? Is that true? If so, when? There is a massive tree overladen with them in our communal gardens so I am very tempted by this recipe!

    • Laura Fyfe says:

      I’ve never heard of them being poisonous, I reckon if you ate a bunch of them raw it wouldn’t do you much good – but I feel fairly confident that if you picked the ones in your garden now and made a jelly you’d be pretty safe (and happily sated)!

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