Tag Archives: jelly

Crab apple jelly…

29 Sep

This week we harvested our crab apples.  We found some trees on our property and replanted them in the front yard.  I thought they were apples because of the blossoms.  As they grew, they turned out to be crab apples.  I had visions of apple sauce and apple butter for the winter.   Alas, crab apples.

Well what can you do with crab apples?  We decided to “try” crab apple jelly.

We had fun harvesting…every body helped and even a couple of little boys we were watching for the day.

We have four little trees and they yielded this much…

I’d say about 1/3 bushel…

Very pretty…

I have never made jelly before, because jam is easier…  But as a little girl I always thought apple jelly was yummy so we gave it a try.

To get juice to make the jelly

We stemmed and deflowered the apples, then cut them in half.

Then put them in a pan and covered them with water.

Then brought to a boil and simmered for about 1/2 hour.

Then got some unbleached muslin from the sewing room, lined a strainer with it and put the strainer in a pan to catch the juice and poured the hot apples into the strainer lined with muslin.

This gives you a nice clear apple juice in the pan.  Unfortunately, I was in a hurry and wanted to HELP to juice out and so brought the muslin out of the strainer and squeezed my apples to extract some more juice.  That is a no no.

It makes cloudy juice.  Not gorgeous, clear, gem like jelly.  Live and learn.

We were told by a friend that apple jelly if cooked long enough doesn’t need pectin.  So we just measured our juice, we only got 5 cups of juice.  We don’t like to add a lot of sugar, the recipe called for 4 cups of sugar.  We added 3.  Then began cooking the sugar and juice mixture.  Again, I became impatient..I had two sewing orders, one quite large that needed shipping on that day so I didn’t wait for it to cook long enough.  I whipped out some Certo Liquid pectin, to help the jelly along and put the hot jelly into jars.  We just inverted the jars for a few seconds and then turned them upright and they sealed beautifully.

I got 6 pretty little jars of crab apple jelly.  A little cloudy but a pretty color!

Now the bad news, it didn’t jell for me.  Why?  I didn’t use the required amount of sugar.  So, what I can do is…

A.   Have 6 beautiful jars of crab apple syrup for pancakes this winter, or

B.   Open the jars and cook down the jelly longer which is what they did in the old days, and have maybe 5 beautiful jars of crab apple jelly.

I was  shooting for crab apple jelly so, I think I’ll do plan B.

It does seem a shame not to just pick these gifts off the tree and eat them.  We did a little of that.  But with winter coming  jelly will be nice to have around.

Today cooked the jelly again and now it is set!!!

It turned out a deeper color, very red.  Hard to believe it is the same jelly!  But it only yielded half of what I started with, and it is very sweet!  Next time I’ll be more patient.  Less multi- tasking.