Ali W here. If you like foraging like I do, you may have located a fabulous crab apple tree during your travels. Crab apple jelly is super easy to make, it just takes a little time to strain the jelly using a muslin bag, suspended from something above – I tied mine with string and hung it from the overhead cupboard handle, securing it tightly! This jelly would be a lovely substitute for cranberry sauce, and definitely a more local one! plus half of it is completely free 🙂
Makes 2 medium sized jars, although I can’t be too exact as it depends on how well the apple juice strains. Just have a few jars handy.
500g crab apples
350g sugar (granulated)
Wash the apples, cut in half, then place in a pan and cover with water. Add lemon zest from the half lemon.
Boil, then reduce the heat for about 30 mins until the apples break down to a pulp. Give it a stir with a wooden spoon at various intervals.
Cool, then place in a muslin cloth tied tightly at the top with string, suspend this bag over a big bowl so the liquid can drip through. Leave overnight. Don’t touch it! Your jelly will be clearer then.
Weigh the liquid, then add 75% of it’s weight as sugar. Add to pan with the juice of the half lemon and boil for about 10 mins (Mine took 15 in total), while this is happening, put a few small plates in the freezer to cool. After 10 mins, take a teaspoon of the liquid out, place on a plate and wrinkle it with the spoon, if it looks quite jelly-ish, you’re ready! if not, keep boiling the liquid and testing at 1-2 min intervals. The satisfaction when you finally get some lovely jelly wrinkles is amazing!
Pour carefully into clean sterilised jars, leave to cool, then store in a cupboard. Enjoy! Ali W.