The crab apples are ready in September , I have two trees in my garden, one a really small, deep red variety and the other a small greenish yellow variety. Both make wonderful jellies. There are many varieties to choose from. Crab apple jelly is delicious served with bread and cheese or lovely cooked ham , it is also a great addition to a gravy stirred in at the very end.
2.5kg / 5 ½ lbs crab apples
1.7 litres / 3 pints watersalt and pepper
knob of butter (optional)
- Wash the apples well, cut into quarters ( don’t peel or core ) and put into a preserving pan with the water. Do not use bruised apples.
- Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for about 1 ½ hours until the fruit is really soft and pulpy.
- Stir from time to time to prevent sticking and add a little more water if necessary.
- Spoon the mixture into a jelly bag and leave to strain for a few hours or overnight until all of the liquid has strained through.
- Do not push the mixture through the jelly bag. The juice should run clear , any pulp will make your jelly cloudy. Discard the pulp.
- Butter the base of a clean preserving pan.
- Measure the liquid and add to the pan with 450g / 1 lb sugar for each 600ml / 1 pint of the juice.
- Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
- Then boil rapidly for 8 – 10 minutes or until setting point is reached.
- To test for setting point , remove the pan from the heat and put a spoonful of the hot jelly on a cold side plate and leave to set. If it wrinkles when you push it with your finger it is set.
- If not set, boil gain for a minute or two and test again. And repeat until set.
- Pot up immediately and seal with a lid in warm sterilised jars.
- Will keep well for a year.