Sunday, 28 September 2008

Crab Apple Jelly

Being back on Mum and Dad's farm the other day we decided to pick some crab apples from the small damson orchard, along with some other fruit.
The idea was to make loads of crab apple jelly when we got back home. I’ve made jam in the past but I’ve never made a jelly and thought it would be interesting to try.
After looking through what seemed like hundreds of cooking books we decided that it was best to adapt a recipe to what we had at hand.

Making the jelly
We first chopped the apples into quarters and chucked them into the largest saucepan we own (it only held three quarters of carrier bag full and even then it boiled over!). We added enough water to cover the fruit and then boiled it for an hour.

We then mashed the fruit up and put it into a jelly bag suspended over a pot.
We left this bag to drain through for 24 hours (we had to go to work!). We didn’t squeeze the bag as we’d read you get more jelly but its cloudy and wanted ours to be clear.

In the end we had about a pint of juice, this we put in a sauceepan and started to simmer. We then put the same amount of sugar into a bowl and warmed it in the oven before adding it slowly to the juice.
Once the sugar was dissolved we brought it to a rapid boil until it reached setting point (this didn’t take long), and we poured it into freshly sterilised jam jars out of the oven.
Then we put wax discs on top and plastic lids before licking the saucepan clean.
The jelly set rock solid, had a really nice apple taste to it and was very clear. It only made three small jars though!

What else can I do with crab apples?

I have planted some crab apple seeds to make my own root stocks to graft some dessert apple branches on but I’m still not sure how to do it.