Crab apple jelly
Total time:plus 12 hrs or overnight
Skill level: Easy peasy
Costs: Cheap as chips
If youíre lucky enough to have a crab apple tree in your garden then this is the best way to use up a glut of the sharp tasting fruit - turning them into a delicious sweet jelly. If you donít have a jelly bag and stand to strain the fruit pulp you can improvise by using 2-3 layers of clean muslin cloth tied to the legs of an upturned stool. Donít be tempted to squeeze the bag or the jelly will end up cloudy.
- 2 kg crab apples
- 1.5 litres water
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Approx 750g granulated sugar
To give the jelly a lovely pink hue replace 250g of the crab apples with 250g redcurrants or cranberries.
- Cut the apples into chunks without peeling or coring and place in a preserving pan with the lemon, cinnamon and water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 1 hr until the apples are very soft and pulpy, stirring occasionally.
- Cool for 10 mins then spoon the fruit pulp and liquid into a jelly bag and leave to strain into a large bowl for at least 12 hrs or overnight.
- Discard the pulp remaining in the jelly bag. Measure the strained juice and pour it into a large pan (or the clean preserving pan) with 450g of sugar for each 600ml of juice.
- Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for about 15-20 mins. Remove the pan from the heat and test for setting point by spooning a little of the hot jelly onto a chilled saucer. Leave for 2-3 mins then push your finger through the jelly - if it wrinkles it is ready. If the jelly is still runny, boil for a further few mins then test again.