Monday, May 18, 2015

Crabapple jelly

Well if you follow my Instagram or twitter you'll know this has been quite the week, my son was born on Tuesday the 12th, a healthy 4.4 kg. So all my attention has, of course, been on him rather than blog posts.

Just before he was born we were given a hefty bag of crabapples from Sophie's mother which brought back fond memories of youth in Hastings living next to an apple orchard with a generous crabapple tree on our property and my mother cooking up batches of the sweet sour jelly. It's a versitle product, great spread on toast with lashings of butter, used as a glaze for roast duck or used to enrich a sauce. The jelly is a relatively straightforward, but it will take two days, only about 80 minutes of cooking though.

  • Pick over your crabapples removing the stems and discarding any overly bruised fruit. 
  • Place the apples in a pot and cover with about an inch of water. 
  • Put on medium heat and bring to the boil. 
  • Cook for 30 minutes on a brisk simmer. 
  • Pour through a muslin cloth and let drain naturally overnight do not be tempted to squeeze the fruit or push the liquid through otherwise you'll get a cloudy jelly.
  • Measure the strained liquid and pour into a pot.
  • Add 70 percent, by weight, of sugar and the juice of a lemon to the pot.
  • Simmer for 40 minutes skimming off any scum that forms. Check the jelly sets by placing a spponfull on a chilled plate.
  • Pour the hot jelly in to sterilised jars and screw on the lids. 
  • Allow the jars to cool on the bench before transferring to a cool dark place to store.

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