There are a few crabapple trees that grow behind my parent’s house. Harvesting the fruits for this recipe barely made a dent in the small red crabapples hanging in the branches. They make for a nice sweet and sour jelly, that goes great with cheese.
7 lbs crabapples
7 cups water
7 table spoon lemon juice
1 vanilla bean
6 cups sugar (approx, see notes below.
1. Working in batches, rinse the fruits. Discard any peduncles, leaves, dirt or other particulates. Look over the fruits and discard any bruised or overripe ones.
2. Quarter the crabapples, seeds and skins on, and throw into a large pot. Check the flesh as you cut them and discard any that have insect damage.
3. Repeat until all the fruits are in the pot. Add the water, the vanilla, and the lemon juice.
4. Simmer without boiling for 30-40 minutes, until all the crabapples are falling appart.
5. Line a sieve with several layers of cheese cloth. Put it over a large bowl.
6. Laddle the warm apples into the sieve and allow the juice to drain, without pressing the fruits. Add more fruit as the juice drains down.
7. Leave to drain for 2 hours. You should have a mostly dry mass. Discard this mass, keeping the juice.
8. Measure out how much juice your crabapples yielded (mine gave me 7 cups total).
9. In the original, clean, pot, affix a candy thermometer.
10. Pour the juice into the pot.
11. Add the sugar. Count 3/4 cup of sugar per cup of juice (so for my 7 cups, I used 5 1/4 cup)
12. Stir to dissolve.
13. Bring to a boil quickly, stirring until the liquid reaches 219F. Skim as you go, it will form a very pink foamy scum as it cooks. Pour into prepared half pints jars. It will be very hot and liquid at this point.
14. Process for 10 minutes. Allow to cool fully. The jelly will set as it cools.