Sunday, December 07, 2008

Crabapple Jelly

I found some crabapples at the store, and while really they were a bit more expensive than I'd like (particularly since I remember the trees overloaded with fruit as a kid that we could've picked since no one wanted it), at $2.99/pound, but that is still a lot cheaper than you can buy crabapple jelly for. So I got a couple pounds. I looked at yet another billion different recipes, and pretty much everyone seems to make it the same way. I added a bit more lemon than people seem to like (and I might not've used the normal amount of sugar, since I kind of lost track of what I put in. I was thinking about the meat sauce that was cooking so I got distracted), but I'm obsessed with lemon. It's reasonably simple to make, though I really do need to invest in a jar lifter so I can stop turning water bath canning into a terrifying experience.

2 pounds crabapples
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
6-7 cups water
4 cups sugar, approximately

Wash the apples and pull off their stems. Toss in a saucepan and add lemon juice and water. Bring it to a boil and then turn down the heat a bit. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the apples make your entire house smell edible, and they mash easily when you push a wooden spoon against them. Strain them. You should have about 4 cups of liquid. Clean out your saucepan and put the juice back in there. Add about 4 cups of sugar (volumetrically, you want to use as much sugar as you have juice). Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Boil it until it hits 220F while stirring constantly. Pour into sterilised jars and process. I did mine in the water bath for 15 minutes, but I think the Ball book says 10. I was just busy, so I gave it longer. Mine made 4 half pints. Theoretically it would've made more jars, but I had a little issue the first time with it not setting so I had to redo it and it condensed it slightly more than I think this normally makes.

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